The UP has once again government issued an order asking officials to implement the ban on polythene by August 31 or be ready to face action. The order issued by Additional Chief Secretary Awanish Awasthi, department of Home, asked officials as to why plastic and polythene was not banned despite previous orders.
“Why is the compliance of previous orders on ban on polythene bags so slow? Why are these bags still available in open market?” Awasthi asked the officials on Monday.
The top bureaucrat’s anger was pecifically pointed towards DM (Lucknow) and Lucknow Nagar Nigam. He set another deadline of August 31 to ban polythene saying that if there was further delay in compliance then action would be taken against local police and administrative officials.
Interestingly, this is the fourth government directive in the last one year on banning the sale of polythene in open market.
The first order was issued by Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath on July 15, 2018, after Allahabad High Court banned polythene. The CM had announced that Uttar Pradesh would be plastic and polythene-free. Yogi had even signed a government order saying that thermocol would also be banned in UP from October 2, 2018. The bureaucracy was entrusted with the job to ensure that plastic glasses and polythene bags were not available in open market. Orders were issued to seal factories where such plastic bags were manufactured. The government also said that alternative arrangement whould be made available to the people.
After the initial euphoria fizzled out, plastic and polythene made a comeback in the open market. Once the high court questioned the state government over ban on plastic and polythene, the government became active again in May 2019 and on June 3, 2019, Yogi held another round of meeting with officials asking them to implement the ban in letter and spirit.
The CM even reminded the officials that Swachh Bharat was the dream project of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and it should be implemented in totality. But after a cosmetic ban, polythene was back again.
“Do you think government actually wants to ban polythene? These orders (to ban polythene) are a ploy for local police and Nagar Nigam inspectors to fleece traders and roadside vendors. If they really wanted to ban polythene, they should have sealed factories producing polythene bags. These factories are not closed as the owners give handsome bribes to the officers,” said a vegetable trader in Bhootnath market in Lucknow.