DESPITE BAN, PLASTIC ITEMS OPENLY SOLD AND USED IN KUPWARA
Srinagar: Authorities in the frontier town of Kupwara look the other ways as use of banned plastics in shops and restaurants is rampant, residents say.
Ploythene bags and other non-biodegradable plastic items are sold openly in the main market of the town.
“Authorities hardly bother about these things which degrade the environment. These shopkeepers know that the authorities are not going to take any action against them that is why they are selling them openly,” said Fayaz Ahmad, a teacher and resident of Bumhama.
Fast-food restaurants in the Kupwara town are also using many of the banned plastic items.
“The restaurants use the non-biodegradable items like spoons, plates, tumblers and cups and they charge for them,” said Ishtiyaq Ahmad, a resident of the Kupwara town.
A wholesaler at Jamia Road, Kupwara said he regularly supplies the non-biodegradable items to his clients, which include restaurants, hotels, and food outlets across the town.
“The ban was imposed just on paper by the authorities. We haven’t faced any action from the concerned officials since the ban was imposed, they don’t do inspections regularly, and it goes well with us,” Mujeeb Ahmad, the wholesaler said.
“I bought the foam plates from Delhi and sell them here. I sell almost fifty thousand pieces in one season as hundreds of shopkeepers from villages came here to buy these products.”
About half a dozen traders in the main market openly sell the banned plastic products to whoever comes looking for them. They claim that the demand increases during marriage seasons.
A restriction on sale and use of the non-biodegradable items in Jammu and Kashmir officially came into force last month when the department of forest, environment and ecology issued a notification ordering a complete ban on the disposable articles.
“Government imposed complete ban on (the) articles made of non-biodegradable material listed in the schedule of the said Act, within the territorial jurisdiction of the state,” a government notification said, referring to a law under which the ban was ordered.
The articles include disposable plates, cups, bowls, tumblers, spoons, forks and knives.
Executive Municipal Committee officer Kupwara, Farooq Ahmad said that “Due to the parliamentary election action has been delayed in the district.”
“We will continue the process to ban the disposable items in the district otherwise we have already implemented the order in district Kupwara and have taken action against the shopkeepers and distributors who sell these kinds of disposable articles,” Ahmad said.