Meet held with trade bodies

The Vijayawada Municipal Corporation (VMC) is contemplating imposing ban on use of plastic carry bags in the city shortly.

The carry bags will now carry a caution message as on tobacco products, that those bags below the specified 20 microns thickness were dangerous for the environment and people.

The manufacturers agreed to this and some resident association members wanted instruments for measuring thickness made available in larger numbers and places for ascertaining the correctness of all the bags that were available in the market.

The Corporation would levy a penalty of Rs.25,000 on manufacturer if he or she manufactures plastic carry bags of thickness less than 20 microns. Similarly Rs.2,500 to Rs.5,000 would be levied on trader, who sells and Rs.250 to Rs.500 on customers for using plastic bags not conforming to the norms.

Municipal Commissioner G. Ravi Babu convened a meeting with representatives of trade bodies, residential welfare associations (RWAs) on Monday. He urged the traders and the RWAs to extend their cooperation in making the city a plastic-free city. The plastic carry bags were posing environmental and pollution problems.

Loans to be given

The retailers also should not sell the carry bags which were less than 20 microns in thickness. The corporation would try to provide loans under SJSRY to small agencies or persons who adhere to norms for manufacturing.

A loan up to Rs.20,000 could be provided under the SJSRY scheme, he said.

The Commissioner said that the sample carry bags would be provided free of cost to taxpayers. Awareness meetings for schoolchildren would be organised on disadvantages of plastic bags.

The Corporation would also provide plants free of cost to people. Responding to a request from the RWAs to supply tree guards free of cost, he said that the RWAs should contribute 30 per cent of the cost of the tree guards.

The CMOH M. Satyanarayana Raju, AMOHs Sridevi, Ramana Raju, Z. Srinivasa Rao, environmental engineer Smitha Bhanu and others were present.

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