HC directs for vigil against use of polythene

Fayaz Bukhari
SRINAGAR, Jan 30: The High Court today directed all the Chief Executive Officers of tourist places including CEO Pahalgam Development Authority (PDA) to adhere to the instructions given by Department of Tourism about complete ban on use of polythene in and around tourist destinations and directed both the Divisional Commissioners to have a continuous vigil on the use of polythene in any district.
The Court has been informed that PDA in collaboration with PCB has prepared the ‘Solid Waste Management Plan’ for Pahalgam, which, the Court said, be provided to all concerned including Amarnath Shrine Board for implementation.
Secretary to Tourism Department, in view of court directions, has issued a circular directing therein to ensure that there were proper waste disposal in so far as solid wastes are concerned and that the ban on the polythene and plastic in the State and more particularly at different tourist destinations were implemented in letter and spirit.
Court said that it impressed upon all the development authorities and other enforcement agencies to ensure that there is no manufacture, supply, sale and use of plastic carry bags, plastic banners, plastic buntings, flex, plastic flags, plastic cups and plastic spoons.
The Secretary has ordered that Chief Executive Officers of Development Authorities shall constitute a special Vigilance committee headed by Chief Executive Officer, concerned, in order to ensure the implementation on ban on use of polythene/ polythene carry-bags and other non-biodegradable materials.
“The committee shall exercise the power for seizure of polythene / polythene carry bags and other non-biodegradable items and shall seize the polythene bags irrespective of thickness of polythene”, read the circular.
The constituted committee shall take all necessary steps as required, for implementation of ban on manufacture, stocking, distribution, sale and use of polythene/ polythene-carry bags, within their respective territorial limits with immediate effect.
Secretary Tourism has impressed that extensive weekly drives shall be carried out by all Chief Executive Officers of Development Authorities which shall include inspection of shops/ commercial establishment, etc., to ensure that no polythene is allowed to be used or littered in the area within the territorial respective limits.
He said that a comprehensive mechanism shall be devised by Chief Executive Officers of Development Authorities in order to give wide publicity and to create social awareness regarding ban on polythene and other non-biodegradable items through print and social media.
“The Chief Executive Officers of Development authorities shall submit monthly report to the administrative department stating therein the drives conducted by the vigilance committee, the quantity of polythene and other non-biodegradable seized during the drive or otherwise, the number of cases registered against the violators and number of vehicles seized carrying polythene bags”, the circular read.
“We also note that so far as there is a complete ban on use of polythene and which has been brought to our notice by way of a circular issued by Tourism department where clear directions have been given and as such PDA shall ensure that these directions are implemented in letter and spirit for the Pahalgam area”, CJ and Justice Magrey added.
Chairman BOCA has been directed to ensure that meetings are held in the coming week and also in the following weeks so that all pending cases with regard to repairs are cleared.