The Thiruvananthapuram Corporation seized about 450 kg of plastic carry bags from various shops in the city limits. The carry bags were seized as part of the Corporation’s drive to make the capital city ‘plastic free’, an effort of the ‘Ente Nagaram Sundara Nagaram’ project. The civic body decided to conduct the raid in shops and other establishments after the deadline to clear shops of plastic bags came to an end. For this, Corporation officials inspected around 350 shops in Fort, Shastamangalam, Ulloor, Medical College, Chenthitta and Thirumala areas.
The corporation had imposed a complete ban on plastic bags below 50 microns after it was found that plastic formed a major pollutant and a hindrance to waste segregation. The Corporation has also pressed into service squads under 25 health circles to see that the shops adhere to its order. Apart from this, two special squads have also been deployed.
During the previous two weeks, shops were given notice not to use plastic carry bags below 50 microns. Moreover, awareness programmes were also held by the Corporation against the use of such carry bags.
More raids to follow
Mayor V K Prasanth has asked traders to cooperate with the initiative. He said that more inspections would be held in the coming days and strict action would be taken against those who do not comply to the directions.
Officials said that the restriction was necessary to ensure waste management from the source. The restrictions have been imposed to protect the health of people as well as preserve the beauty of the city, they added.
The Corporation had decided to ban plastic carry bags from July 1 but had said that they would step into monitoring and penal measures only from July 15 after the two week long awareness campaign. Though the merchants had sought more time to exhaust their stock, the Corporation decided to go ahead with the ban as they thought that any relaxation would make monitoring difficult.
City choked with plastic
Waste management continues to be a major problem for the city, which suffered a setback following the closure of the waste treatment plant at Vilappilsala. Worse is the challenge of plastic waste, which is always the villain in clogging drains that resulted in water-logging in the many parts of the city.