Shoppers welcome plastic ban in Dilli Haats, rue lack of alternatives

Women segregate plastic bags and bottles in Delhi. File

Women segregate plastic bags and bottles in Delhi. File   | Photo Credit: Sushil Kumar Verma

People not allowed to carry bags of chips or biscuits that came in plastic wrappers

The Delhi government on Wednesday banned single-use plastic at all three Dilli Haats and the Garden of Five Senses in Saket under the nationwide campaign, Swachhata Hi Seva.

When 21-year-old Paras Abbott and 23-year-old Swastika arrived at the gates of the INA Dilli Haat around 4 p.m., they were stopped by the guard’s exclamation: “Yahan plastic allowed nahi hain (No plastic is allowed here)” as he pointed to their plastic water bottles.

A board put up by the Delhi Tourism Department near the entrance read: “Using single-use plastic in the premises of Dilli Haat INA is a punishable offence”.

Left with no option, they walked to a nearby blue-coloured dustbin and finished drinking their water before disposing of the bottles and entering the market. “It is a good move to ban plastic, but there should be alternatives, without that it won’t work,” said Mr. Abbott.

Spot checks by The Hindu at INA Dilli Haat and the Garden of Five Senses uncovered implementation issues and a mixed response from the public, who rued lack of alternatives to plastic. Though people said that alternatives are expensive, almost all said that banning plastic was a “good move”.

At both locations, people were not allowed to carry bags of chips or biscuits which came in plastic wrappers. They were also not provided any paper bags to carry the plastic items.

Though NGO Delhi Greens was selling cloth bags inside the entrance of INA Dilli Haat — just for the day — there was no such outlet at the Garden of Five Senses.

“They should provide alternative if they are not allowing even chips inside,” said Manisha Singh, 20, a visitor at the garden.

At Dilli Haat, while most people were seen coming out with cloth bags, some were given plastic bags by shopkeepers. “I was not charged extra for the cloth bags,” said O.P. Aneja, 72, who had three cloth bags.

There was a cupboard, which doubled up as a ‘cloak room’, where visitors could leave there plastic waster bottles at Dilli Haat, but there was no such facility at the garden.

Relenting to pressure

Around 5 p.m., guards at the garden started allowing people to enter the aera with plastic bottles.

“In the morning, we did not allow people to enter with plastic bottles, but by afternoon people started complaining that there was no other way to get drinking water and we started allowing them to carry their water bottles. What else can we do?” the guard asked.

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Printable version | Feb 18, 2020 4:25:50 AM |

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