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Minister bans plastic bags in Gurgaon: Will Gurgaon be plastic free after one week?
Plastics are bad for the environment. It is bad for our animals and it is bad for the general health, yet somehow we cannot give up this bad habit. In a bid to ban polythene bags, PWD Minister Narbir Singh on November 1 released a directive that Gurgaon should be plastic free. In a bid to fulfill this directive, Gurgaon is given a week's time after which people would face heavy and strict consequence.

Shekhar Vidyarthi, Deputy Commissioner, Gurgaon, gave a warning to various plastic users- manufacturers, stockists, transporters, distributors and users to stop using plastic or they would be heavily banned. The ban money would start from Rs. 500 to Rs. 25000.

Talking about the issue, Vidyarthi said, ''They have about a week to get rid of such bags. There is provision of a fine ranging from Rs 500 to 25,000 if found using or distributing, selling or stocking the plastic carry bags. In the notification, 23 officers of the district have been given powers to issue challans."

Citing the disadvantages of plastic or polythene bags, Vidyathi said that these plastic bags and packets does a lot of harm to our cattle, which invariably harms the environment. Suggesting a solution, Vidyathi said that people should switch from plastic bags to jute or cotton bags while they go out to shop. He also said, as was reported by timesofindia.com, that shopkeepers would be sensitized and informed about the ban. Then after 10 days, challan would be issued to people using these bags.

Drawing an action plan for the state, he said that different teams would look after different areas and these teams would be held responsible if plastic bags are found in their area. Additional deputy commissioner P S Chauhan will be overall in charge for the urban areas, which means that the officers will report to him. The joint commissioners of the MCG would be in charge in their respective jurisdictions while the estate officers of HUDA would take care of their areas.

While the departmental stores have already stopped using plastic bags and have replaced it with expensive jute bags, will the local shop owners and their customers abide by the rule is a big question. The fact that such drives have failed in the past is a huge setback for the drive to work.

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