Delhi government to ban plastic bags
City government of Indian capital New Delhi has banned usages of plastic bag in the city and violaters would be imprisoned for five years.
Officials in the Indian capital has banned use, storage and sale of plastic bags of any kind or thickness has been banned. Under the new law anybody found using plastic bag could face a penalty of around $250 and also a possible jail term.
The Delhi government has planned to ban all plastic bags starting next week, with up to five years of imprisonment for those running businesses using plastic bags.
The move is eco friendly but many businessmen are unhappy with it.
Several people probably don't know whether they are committing a crime when they carry a plastic bag. If you carry a plastic bag, you may have to pay a lakh or spend five years in prison. That's the new law that the Delhi government says it is ready to enforce.
"We have sent the notification and will still give 10 to 12 days to the traders. We won't fine them but don't say that there are no options - there's jute, paper and cloth. So let it all settle down and then when we find people violating it naturally they will be penalized," said Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit.
The law comes under section five of the Environment Protection Act of 1986. According to the act, usage, sale or storage of any kind of plastic bags is forbidden. The new ban applies to five star hotels, restaurants, dairies, fruits and vegetable outlets ands all shopping malls.
Shopkeepers like Harish Malik are expected to use jute or paper bags, both more expensive and therefore not welcome.
"If we shift from plastic, the cost will increase by four to five times and ultimately the customers will have to bear the cost," said Harish.
So here comes the usual course of action.
"We will oppose this ban and go to the court. If the government wants to start something new, then before implementing they should provide alternatives," said Pravin Khandelwal.
But at least some Delhiites feel that being eco-friendly is worth the extra expense overdue.
"Ninety per cent of the times people don't think about what they are doing, but if it's made compulsory people will think. If every shopper is giving paper bags then you are forced to use them," said Priyanka, a Delhi resident.
Now the big question is whether the Delhi government is prepared to act on its word.