It will come into effect in another two weeks: Sogodu Shivanna

The government plans to impose a total ban on plastic carry bags in the State.

Minister for Ecology and Environment Sogudu Shivanna told presspersons here on Monday that it would come into effect in another two weeks.

“The use of plastic carry bags is contributing to the decline of soil fertility. Lakes and urban drainage systems have been choked. The Karnataka State Pollution Control Board (KSPCB) and the Environment Department will enforce the ban with the support of urban local bodies and NGOs,” he said.

The Minister, who held a meeting with KPSCB officials last week, said the State had already banned the use of plastic carry bags which had a thickness of less than 40 microns. “Now, the ban will be extended to carry bags with a thickness of more than 40 microns. An order will be issued after discussions with Chief Minister Jagadish Shettar,” he said. Mr. Shivanna said penalty would be imposed on those who continue to use plastic carry bags.

The Minister said common effluent treatment plants (CETP) would be set up in Bangalore and other cities for treating sewage. The CETP at Urban Eco Park at Peenya had not been functioning for the last two years. Officials had been instructed to repair the plant and establish plants at industrial zones, he said.

Stressing on the need for awareness on environmental issues, he said the department had written to the Primary and Secondary Education Department to take steps to include this subject in the school syllabus. Services provided by the KSPCB would be brought under the Sakala scheme, he said.

Taking a dig at the functioning of the KSPCB, the Minister said many officials had not been going on field visits. “Instead of visiting various factories, the officials are busy issuing no-objection certificates (NoCs) for housing and commercial complexes. The Board has not taken any action to simplify procedures related to issue of NOCs to housing complexes and commercial buildings. We are considering transferring powers of issuing NOCs from the Board to the Secretary of the department,” Mr. Shivanna said.

Action would be taken against officials who refused to act on files of important matters. Officials who continued to remain in the head offices and zonal offices of the Board in Bangalore for the past few years would be transferred, he said.