The Greater Chennai Corporation (GCC) on Monday told the Madras High Court that it has intensified the drive against the banned single-use plastic products. It said that several teams had been formed to inspect shops and seize the banned plastics besides imposing fine on shopkeepers.
A Bench comprising Justices S. Vaidyanathan and P.T. Asha was told that 47,961 shops were inspected and 20,056 kg of banned plastics seized between August 19, 2021 and March 18 this year.
Additional Advocate General J. Ravindran said the Corporation had collected ₹36.50 lakh towards fine from shopkeepers.
The AAG provided zone-wise break-up of the inspections and fine amount collected in the last seven months. He said the Corporation had been imposing the ban with all vigour in all the 15 zones of the civic body and that a special drive was conducted in Kolathur and Villivakkam areas after court orders.
Stating that the Corporation Commissioner Gagandeep Singh Bedi himself had been monitoring the strict implementation of the ban on single-use plastics, the AAG said the civic body had decided to further tighten the implementation. Sanitary Inspectors had been instructed to go for daily checks in shops and other establishments.
He said that repeat offenders such as shops that continued to use the banned single-use plastics despite being subjected to seizure and fine would be liable for cancellation of their trade licence. Such shops would be closed and sealed and the Corporation was committed towards the cause, the AAG added.
GCC had intensified its drive to separate plastics from its legacy waste in the dumps, bail it into cuboidal compacted blocks and send it to the pyrolysis burners of cement factories so as to reduce the plastics in the soil and legacy waste, Mr. Ravindran said and explained several other steps taken.
He said the GCC had held awareness meetings with the traders and plastic manufacturers associations. An appeal was made to the vegetable, flower and fruit traders in Koyambedu wholesale market to use cloth bags instead of plastic bags and about 5,000 cloth bags were distributed to them.
So far, over one lakh cloth bags had been distributed free of cost, the AAG said and promised to file yet another status report after four weeks.
The Bench accepted his submission and adjourned a case before them to April 21 and asked Additional Solicitor General R. Sankaranarayanan to ascertain the stand of the Centre on the drive against plastics since there was a complaint of the banned plastic entering Tamil Nadu from other States.