Deluge brings to fore capital’s plastic menace and BMC’s failure to contain it
Despite rise in raids on shops, business houses, markets and imposition of fines on the violators to check the use and littering of single use plastics, there has been no respite from the menace.
BHUBANESWAR: Not only bad urban planning but Monday’s deluge also exposed the capital city’s faulty implementation of ban on single use plastic products. In the post-deluge clean-up of drains, Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation (BMC) retrieved tonnes of plastic waste. The civic body admits several truck loads of plastic including thermocol cutlery and plastic bottles were cleared from Daya West Canal alone in the last three days.
Despite rise in raids on shops, business houses, markets and imposition of fines on the violators to check the use and littering of single use plastics, there has been no respite from the menace. Following an NGT directive in 2018, the BMC had installed nets across all stormwater drains to filter out plastic waste. Under the Plastic Waste Management Amendment Rules, 2021, the government banned several products to mitigate pollution caused by littering of single use plastic.
Between October 2022 and March 2023, BMC had seized 3.5 metric tonne of single-use plastic and collected Rs 3.85 lakh fine from violators. At present, the capital city generates 800 MT of waste everyday and a subsequent chunk of it is plastic. At the material recovery facilities (MRFs) across the city, the plastic waste is segregated and recycled.
“But it is clear from Monday’s deluge that the existing awareness on plastic usage and arrangements to deal with plastic waste is grossly inadequate,” said Mayor Sulochana Dash. She added although there has been improvement in segregation of dry and wet waste at the source (users) level, it is very less compared to the amount of plastic waste being generated daily which ends up in drains.
Moreover, the BMC raids have been limited to just shops and users. Although the civic body had last year planned to raid manufacturing units preparing single use plastic bags and other products and godowns where they are stocked in Khurda, the drive is yet to start.
Polystyrene (thermocol) for decoration, plastic plates, cups, glasses, cutlery such as forks, spoons, knives, straw, trays, wrapping or packaging films around sweet boxes, invitation cards, cigarette packets, earbuds with plastic sticks, plastic sticks for balloons, plastic flags, candy sticks, and plastic or PVC banners less than 100 micron