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Despite ban, plastic disposables sold in open market; Authorities stay mum
5/9/2019 11:22:39 PM
Early Times Report

Jammu, May 9: It is more than a month since Government imposed a ban on many plastic disposable items, but inspite of this ban the disposable items are still available in market as authorities remain mute spectators.
Pertinently, it took Government 12 years to implement sub section 3 of section 7 of Jammu & Kashmir Non-Biodegradable Material (Management Handling & Disposal) Act 2007 (JK NBM Act 2007) wherein Government has powers to ban the use of Non- Bio degradable material. Sub section 3 of section 7 of JK NBM Act 2007 reads
"If the Government in consultation with Prescribed Authority is of the opinion that use of any non-bio degradable material in any non-bio degradable material control area or part thereof may cause, or is likely to cause environmental, health or other problems , it may by notification in the Government gazette ban, prohibit or restrict the use of such non bio degradable material in the non-biodegradable area of part thereof with effect from such date being not less than one month, from the date of publication of notification as may be specified in the notification "
Pertinently vide SRO 231 Government of J&K through the department of Forests, Environment & Ecology in consultation with the Prescribed Authority ie J&K State Pollution Control Board (JKSPCB) on March 26th 2019 had issued formal orders to completely ban the non -biodegradable disposables (mostly plastic material) like disposable plates, cups, bowls , tumblers , spoons , forks and knives etc. Reliable sources have told that all these plastic disposable goods are still being sold by the wholesale as well as retail dealers across Jammu & Kashmir and authorities are not able to take any action against the violators.
As reported J&K state has already been declared as a non-biodegradable material control area under NBM Act 2007. The non-biodegradable disposable items made up of plastic, foam or thermocol like material has destroyed Jammu & Kashmir during last two to three decades. Srinagar and Jammu cities alone produces more than 950 metric tons of waste daily out of which around 30 to 35 % is non-biodegradable waste . Now authorities like Sriinagar Municipal Corporation (SMC) or Jammu Municipal Corporation (JMC) don't even have a space available to landfill the waste and that is the reason plastic waste is found scattered in rivers , nallahs , ponds , lakes and roadsides.
"I am unable to understand why Govt imposed the ban when it was not ready to enforce the same. State Pollution Control Board which is the Prescribed Authority to implement J&K NBM Act 2007 must act on ground. It is suggested that people associated with this trade of be encouraged to promote Bio-degradable disposable material. PCB , JMC and SMC have a great role to play in this direction " said Syed Nasarullah legal advisor of Environmental Policy Group (EPG).
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