BENGALURU: In a move to curb plastic use in the city, BBMP Commissioner N Manjunatha Prasad has written to the Additional Chief Secretary (Urban Development) urging the department to issue a circular to all government departments to direct their staff to avoid using plastic bags. If this is implemented, government employees will not be allowed to use plastic bags at any cost. Besides, they will also have to compost their wet waste.
Considering that the city has at least 1 lakh government employees, this move will considerably reduce the burden on BBMP. BP Manjegowda, former president of Karnataka State Government Employee Association, told The New Indian Express that there are at least 4.55 lakh government employees across the state, of which 1.5 lakh are in Bengaluru.
Though the civic agency has processing units at various places, but they are not enough. One of the major reasons being little or no segregation of waste takes place at the source. As a result, the wet waste cannot be composted.
The BBMP Commissioner issued this circular after a meeting was recently held by the National Green Tribunal’s State Committee. In this meeting, they emphasised on the necessity to segregate waste.
If the plan works out, government employees will have to compost wet waste in their homes as well as in the offices. They will not be allowed to hand over wet waste to the civic workers, and they must use cloth bags instead of plastic at all cost.
BBMP has recently instructed its staff to follow the same. But after the meeting, it was decided that this should be extended to all government employees. The Urban Development Department has been asked to issue this circular to various government offices, boards, corporations and authorities. The department officials concerned have to give an update on action taken by them by July 31.
A senior official from the Urban Development Department said they are yet to receive the letter. “Under Solid Waste Management Rules, the department has the power to enforce it. Under this, we can issue a circular,” the official said.