Plastic Ban Current Affairs
Maharashtra Government has banned use of plastic in time-bound manner, citing environmental and public health concerns. The decision was taken at cabinet meeting led by Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis. The ban will include plastic bags, thermocol, disposable cups and plates, cutlery, non-woven polypropylene bags, plastic pouches and packaging.
The ban exempts plastic used to cover medicines, forest and horticulture products, solid waste, tree saplings and use of plastic in special economic zones (SEZ) for export purposes. Similarly, plastic covers and wrappers used for manufactured and processed products would also be exempted.
The decision will be enforced across rural and urban Maharashtra. All municipal corporations, councils, district collectors and chief executive officers (CEOs) of zilla parishads have been sensitised to ensure its implementation in their respective regions.
All small and medium-scale industries (SMEs) and big industries involved in plastic businesses will be provided adequate time frame to switch over to alternative modes of businesses. Government has recommended various business models along with employment to people engaged in plastic industries.
Government will also provide some incentives to those who strictly adhere to ban decision. There is also proposal to slap penalty such as non-renewing of licences for shops and industries which violate decision.
The National Green Tribunal (NGT) imposed complete blanket ban on use, sale, purchase and storage of plastic items such as carry bags, plates and spoons in towns of Haridwar and Rishikesh till upper areas of Uttarkashi along the Ganga River in Uttarakhand.
The move was taken to tackle and prevent pollution of the Ganga. The green panel order comes while it was hearing a plea of environmentalist MC Mehta.
The NGT also imposed Rs 5,000 fine on those violating order and also held that action will be taken against erring officials too. It passed the direction after noting that despite its earlier order, plastic was being used in these areas causing pollution to the hoy river.
National Green Tribunal (NGT)
NGT was established in 2010 under National Green Tribunal Act, 2010 for effective and expeditious disposal of cases relating to environmental protection and conservation of forests and other natural resources. It specialises in adjudicating on matters relating to environment, forests and harm to people or property due to neglect of environmental obligations of infrastructure projects.
NGT is guided by principles of natural justice and not bound by procedure laid down under Code of Civil Procedure (CrCP), 1908. It is mandated to make and endeavour for disposal of applications or appeals finally within 6 months of filing. New Delhi is Principal Place of Sitting NGT. Bhopal, Pune, Kolkata and Chennai are other regional sitting of Tribunal.