Srinagar: The Jammu and Kashmir High court on Tuesday directed state government to ban polythene and plastic across all tourist destinations In J&K.
The court also directed Pollution Control Board to implement SRO 45 wisely so that the use of polythene and plastic can be curbed at all levels.
Hearing a PIL on Pahalgam resort, the division bench comprising Chief Justice Badar Durrez Ahmed and Justice Ali Mohammad Magrey directed that with regard to use of polythene and other plastic items, PCB is directed to indicate as to how to implement SRO 45 submit before the court on next hearing.
The court directed that the details be submitted with an affidavit by member secretary PCB.
The court observed that the use of polythene and other non¬biodegradable items used in day to day life cause long term environment damage and health hazards affecting the flora and fauna, besides damaging water bodies, therefore a coordinated and multi-pronged approach was required for curbing the menace of polythene and other non-biodegradable substances effectively.
“With a view of preventing the recurrence of such problems, it is impressed upon all the development authorities and other enforcement agencies to ensure that there is no manufacture, supply, sale and use of plastic carry bags, plastic banners, plastic buntings, flex, plastic flags, plastic flags, plastic cups and plastic spoons,” the court said.
The court directed Chief Executive Officers of Development Authorities to constitute a special Vigilance committee headed to ensure the implementation of ban on use of polythene and other non-biodegradable materials.
The court said, “The committee shall exercise the power for seizure of polythene/ Polythene carry bags and other non-biodegradable items and shall seize the Polythene bags irrespective of thickness of polythene. Also the committee shall take all necessary steps as required, for implementation of ban on manufacture, stocking, distribution, sale and use of polythene/ polythene-carry bags, within their respective territorial limits with immediate effect.”
The court directed that concerned committee shall strictly implement the provisions of Jammu and Kashmir and Non-Biodegradable Material (Management, Handling and Disposal) Act, 2007 after seizure of polythene/ polythene carry-bags.
Direction was also passed to authorities for extensive weekly drives carried by all chief executive officers which shall include inspection of shops/ commercial establishment to ensure that no polythene is allowed to be used or littered in the area within the territorial respective limits.
The court further directed that commercial vehicles entering into the limits of development authorities be inspected at the entry points to prevent the influx of polythene.
“A comprehensive mechanism shall be devised by Chief Executive Officers of Development Authorities in order to give wide publicity and to create social awareness regarding ban on polythene and other non-biodegradable items through print and social media,” the court said.
“The Chief Executive Officers of Development authorities shall submit monthly report to the administrative department stating therein the drives conducted by the vigilance committee, the quantity of polythene and other non-biodegradable seized during the drive or otherwise, the number of cases registered against the violators, number of vehicles seized carrying polythene bags,” the court directed.
Meanwhile Chairman BOCA (Building operations controlling Authority) shall ensure that meetings are held in the coming week and also in the week following so that all pending cases with regard to repairs are cleared.
Meantime PDA and PCB informed court that solid waste management plan has been prepared for Pahalgam resort and shall be furnished to all stake holders including Amarnath Shrine Board.