Though over a decade has gone by since the district administration imposed a ban on plastics and erected boards which stated, “Welcome to Plastic Free Nilgiris”, the menace continues to plague this popular holiday destination.
Due to various factors including lack of adequate cooperation from the trading community and consumers and ignorance of the rules among a sizeable section of the tourists, the banned items are freely available at a number of places.
The Nilgiris Collector, P. Sankar, told The Hindu that among the plastic items banned in the district are all kinds of carry bags, covers which are below 40 microns, cups and plastic coated plates.
Stating that the fine amounts have been hiked, he said that with effect from January 15, 2014, first time offenders among retailers would be fined Rs. 500 for every 500 grams.
If they repeat the offence they will have to pay Rs. 750.
For the third time they will have to cough up Rs. 1, 000 and if they are caught for the fourth time their permit will be cancelled.
Wholesalers will be fined Rs. 750, Rs. 1000 and Rs. 1, 250 respectively.
If they are caught again their permit would be withdrawn.
Owners of marriage halls will have to pay Rs. 10,000, Rs. 20,000 and Rs. 30,000 respectively. If they continue their permit would be cancelled.
A fine of Rs. 100 would be collected from consumers.