Srinagar: Polythene bags are still widely used by vendors and shop keepers despite a ban, and claims by concerned departments of curbing its use through regular raids. The raids conducted by Srinagar Municipal Corporation (SMC) and State Pollution Control Board (SPCB) seem to have little impact on the ground. Kareem Mohammad Dar, a street vendor said, they cannot afford to give up the use of polythene bags. “Raids are being conducted by teams to check polythene bags and seize them on the spot but this is just a showoff. The next day we continue with the old routine,” Dar said. “We are financially very weak and cannot afford jute bags. We give goods to customers in polythene bags and they have no problem with it. Hardly anyone raises voice.” Apart from the vendors, most of Srinagar residents throw out household garbage in polythene bags, many times directly on the streets. Discarded polythene bags can also also be seen choking sewer drains and littering water bodies. Chief Enforcement Officer, SMC Mohammad Akbar said they are conducting regular raids to check the menace. “We seize polythene bags from spot and hand over to SPCB,” Akbar said “I am personally appealing all media organisations to make people aware about hazards of polythene. We should start this from our self so that we will ensure polythene free Kashmir.” Director SPCB Dr Nadeem Hussain also said that regular raids are used to check the polythene use, but added that smugglers keep supplying polythene bags from Punjab. “That is the reason that we are not able to stop it. Recently we seized 43 ton polythene bags from shopkeepers and street vendors but all goes in vain as next day they come with more bags,” he said.