NEW DELHI: Indian Railways has decided to act tough against train passengers caught violating new rules enacted by the Maharashtra government on plastic ban. According to new rules, passengers may have to cough up a fine up to Rs 25,000 in the event that they are found committing the offence.
“We are in touch with state government agencies to enforce the ban. After getting the nod of state authorities, we will start penalising passengers who are in possession of banned plastic items,” Central Railway Chief Commercial Manager Shailendra Kumar told PTI.
The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation, the civic body of Mumbai, has announced that it will impose a fine of Rs 5,000 for the first offence, Rs 10,000 fine for the second one and Rs 25,000 fine for every subsequent violation. Western Railway chief spokesperson Ravinder Bhakar said that its had formed teams to implement the ban and fines would be levied on violators.
This despite the fact that the industry experts have raised serious concerns on the adverse impact that the state government’s plastic ban may have on employment front. The plastic manufacturing industry has said that the ban on plastic including carry-bags and thermocol by the state government will result in loss of up to Rs 15,000 crore and nearly 3 lakh jobs.
“The ban imposed by Maharashtra from Saturday has hit the industry very hard and the plastic industry is staring at a loss of Rs 15,000 crore, leaving nearly 3 lakh people jobless overnight,” Plastic Bags Manufacturers Association of India general secretary Neemit Punamiya told PTI on Sunday.
A report by Hindustan Times on Monday said that the BMC inspectors had collected Rs 3.5 lakh in fines from 72 shops and confiscated 591.67kg of plastic from Chembur and a Ghatkopar mall.
Lately, several Bollywood stars had extended their support to a campaign against the use of plastic. This included Alia Bhatt, Pareeniti Chopra and Shraddha Kapoor. These celebrities had posted an identical video showing the adverse impact of plastics on the sea habitat.
However, the latest decision by the state government has divided the public opinions.