The Maharashtra Plastic Ban is set to come into effect from June 23, following which Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) officials will start penalising individuals and vendors for carrying or accepting plastic bags.
The fine will range from Rs 5,000 to Rs 25,000 depending upon the number of violations.
According to a report in the Hindustan Times, the civic body has already published a list of inspectors who will be responsible for keeping an eye on shops across the city.
The BMC will publish two more such lists, one for markets & malls, and the second to supervise hawkers on city streets.
The inspectors are all BMC employees, who are authorised to collect fines from citizens and vendors.
According to Nidhi Chaudhari, deputy municipal commissioner in-charge of markets and the license departments, the inspectors will start fining shopkeepers who give out plastic items and individuals who accept right from day 1, i.e June 23.
BMC chief Ajoy Mehta had earlier stated that no fines would be levied on citizens and retailers over the use of banned plastic items till June 23 to ensure they have time to find and get used to using alternatives like paper and cloth bags.
“Coercive action against anyone for violating the new plastic ban will be initiated only after three months (June 23). We are not taking any action against anyone till then,” Mehta had said.
On March 23, the state issued the Maharashtra Plastic and Thermocol Products notification that banned the manufacture, use, storage, distribution, sale, import and transportation of all kinds of plastic items.
“There was no stay on fining citizens, but we were giving them a chance to adjust to cloth and paper bags. Now, we will strictly impose the ban,” Chaudhari told the daily.
Around 225 personnel from the markets department, the shops and establishments’ department and license department will be responsible for enforcing the ban in the city.
To prevent any misuse or abuse, each official will carry an ID card and other relevant documents during inspections.
Penalty for violations from June 23:
- 1st Offence: Rs 5,000 fine
- 2nd Offence: Rs 10,000 fine
- 3rd Offence: Rs 25,000 fine and up to 3-year imprisonment under the amended Maharashtra Non-Biodegradable Garbage Act, 2006