TIRUCHY: With inspections going on in full swing to stop the use of banned plastics in the city, the corporation has directed its team to crack down on major suppliers of plastics. Sources said that several field officials informed higher officials about difficulties in finding buildings stocking huge quantities of plastic bags.
Many of them said some of the suppliers are storing bags in residential buildings. Considering this issue, the corporation has decided to levy a fine on building owners too in such cases. "If a huge quantity of plastic is recovered from a commercial or residential building, we will levy a fine on the building owners. We have directed our team to identify such buildings," said mayor Mu Anbalagan.
According to sources, the corporation team has decided to conduct inspection stage-by-stage, and, is initially focussing on taking action on major suppliers and merchants. For instance, the corporation team, in the last few days, was conducting inspection mostly at shops and major commercial establishments.
But, officials said the team will soon conduct inspections among vendors.
"We are regularly conducting inspection at shops. On Wednesday, our team collected a fine of more than Rs 50,000 from merchants found storing plastic bags. We will soon conduct inspection among street vendors and others. We hope regular inspection reduces the demand and supply of banned plastic bags," a senior official said.
Many residents opined that apart from conducting inspection, the corporation should also come up with measures to support those selling eco-friendly bags. "They have to conduct more workshops for residents to create awareness about the need for avoiding plastics. They should also come up with some schemes to support units and self-help groups manufacturing eco-friendly bags," said G Karthikeyan, a resident of Ponmalai.
Senior officials said they are planning to take more steps to create awareness among residents. "Plastic waste dumped in drains often spoil our desilting works. The mayor had raised this issue at recent meetings with residents and we are also planning to conduct more awareness drive," an official said.
Meanwhile, some of the vendors, who are still using plastic bags, said the corporation should also provide support for them. "We cannot afford cloth bags or paper bags like established merchants. If the corporation gives us eco-friendly bags at a subsidised rate, it will be a great help," said Abdulla, a vendor selling clothes on NSB Road.