The ban on the use of polythene bags below 40 micron in the city is only on paper as no concrete steps are being taken in this direction.
A meeting was held where all District Magistrates (DMs), SPs, the Secretary, Pollution Control Board, the Director, Urban Development, and Panchayati Raj officials were directed to ensure that recycled polythene or polythene below 40 micron would not be used to carry things or food material.
The Urban Development Department was also asked to constitute a state advisory committee, comprising the Secretary, Urban Development, representatives from the Pollution Control Board, Local Bodies, social and educational organisations and industries. The committee was to ensure the compliance of regulations with regard to the use and sale of polythene bags in 2011.
Unfortunately, no such committee has been set up till date. The officials of these departments had said a anti-polythene drive would be launched after August 15 but nothing has happened in this regard.
Deputy Director, Urban Development, Subhash Gupta said the department was serious about the anti-polythene drive and was having a dialogue with the Forest Department to get the land to dispose of recycled or low quality polythene.
He added the district administrations and local bodies had been given instructions in this regard.
Polythene bags of the cheaper quality are still being sold everywhere in the city with a few exceptions. District Magistrate Ravinath Raman said polythene was being brought in the district from outside. Unless Sales Tax officials, who were also part of the project, check the import of polythene bags into the district, it would be difficult to control the use of low quality polythene bags.
City Magistrate Harak Rawat said, “The polythene drive is not yielding foolproof results. Despite giving affidavits, traders are still using the prohibited quality of polythene.”
President of the Doon Traders Association Vipin Nagliya said the traders in the city were selling only those polythene bags which they had not been able to exhaust earlier. He, however, ensured that the use of cheaper polythene would come to end.
Rawat also expressed inability to handle this task on his own. He suggested that other officials in the administration and the Dehradun Municipal Corporation (DMC) should carry the challan book with them and inspect the shops or markets on the way to make campaign more effective.
The campaign against polythene bags launched by the DMC many times failed miserably. This time Mayor Vinod Chamoli prohibited the use of plastic tea glass which he said clogged drains and led to water logging.