On its first day in action, the new team of Municipal Corporation of Dehradun (MCD) working against the use of banned polythene in Dehradun seized more than 200 kilogrammes of polythene and imposed a penalty of Rs 1.5 lakh. The team is headed by deputy municipal commissioner Rohitash Sharma.
Municipal commissioner Vinay Shankar Pandey said, “Our newly established team has started raiding at the warehouses of those wholesalers who import polythene in bulk from other states or districts. Many of them shut down their establishments after they heard about the raids.
The team has been ordered to lock such establishments with MCD’s seal if the owner fails to present himself even after being called.” He further added, “The area they first targeted is Lakkhibagh and till the update I was given before lunch they had seized nearly 150 kilogrammes of polythene and issued challan of Rs 75,000.”
Deputy commissioner Sharma said, “On the first day we seized more than 200 kilogrammes of polythene and issued 15 challans amounting Rs 1.5 lakh. There are no pending charges, they have all paid the penalty. The maximum penalty charged was Rs 50,000 followed by Rs 30, 000 and Rs 20,000. Rest were issued challan of Rs 5,000 each.”
When asked about the problems they had to face he said, “A shop owner at Hanuman Chowk had closed his shop but later arrived when we called. We suspect that some of the owners might have received information about raids and that is why they shut they were shutting their places down. We have received strict instruction from municipal commissioner that such shops are to be locked with MCDs seal. Such shops will be opened later in front of the owner so that we can count the polythene right in front of him. ”
When asked about the formulation of penalties they are charging he said, “We are aware about the orders of Uttarakhand High Court, but have not received any official copy of the order yet.
Presently we are issuing challan as per our discretion while keeping the existing rules and High Court’s order in mind; it basically depends on the quantity of polythene we find. It is also an opportunity for people to stop using polythene before getting heavily penalised. ”