The Mysore district administration has set its vision on a ‘plastic-free’ Dasara by freeing the city’s top tourist destinations from ‘banned plastic’.
Acting on a diktat from Chief Minister Siddaramaiah on containing the plastic menace during Dasara this year, Deputy Commissioner C. Shikha, who is the Dasara Special Officer, has issued an order (on August 8) for strict enforcement of rules for keeping tourist spots and important shrines that attract tourists, free from plastic.
The order has been issued citing rules that prohibits use of banned plastic for establishing a ‘plastic-free pollution-free’ surrounding.
Thanks to the Plastic Waste (Management and Handling) Rules, 2011, which permits use of plastic bags or sachets with a minimum thickness of 40 microns, the district administration had then (after the rules were introduced) issued an order banning the manufacturing, stocking and use of plastic below 40 microns.
The rules were strictly enforced by the authorities concerned, primarily the Mysore City Corporation, during the initial months. Afterwards, plastic carry bags with less than 40 microns started flooding the market.
Plastic manufacturers had been asked to print their names, registration numbers and standard (how many microns) on the bags, as well as details about recycling on recycled plastic bags. Not all plastic carry bags carry these details, which is a must as per the new rules.
Consequently, hoardings with announcements on the ban on plastic will come up soon at the entrances of major tourist spots and religious places/ shrines and at all important places frequented by tourists.
The sale, use and stocking of plastic stands banned in and around these spots, and the officials concerned have been empowered to confiscate the banned products and penalise the sellers/users.
Instructions had been given for keeping colour coded containers for disposing plastic waste and clearing the collected waste in a scientific manner the next day.
The staff and the police deployed at the entrance of tourist spots must facilitate screening of banned plastic from the competent authorities. Counters should be set up at tourist sites for receiving and clearing complaints from the public. A book should be maintained in each counter for registering the complaints, according to the order.