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- Minister pleads for joint bid to curb air pollution Anuja Shanker | TNN | Nov 28, 2018, 02:00 IST
PATNA: State health minister Mangal Pandey has pleaded for collaborated efforts by different government departments to take preventive and corrective measures to curb air pollution.
Addressing a ‘Doctors’ Dialogue’ jointly organized by the Centre for Environment and Energy Development (CEED) and the All India Institute of Medical Sciences-Patna (AIIMS-P) at a city hotel on Tuesday, the minister did not deny that the government and different NGOs had not been able to do the required level of work to curb pollution.
“Forests, transport, road construction, education and health department officials as well as representatives of different NGOs should sit together and hold deliberations on ways to control pollution,” Pandey said.
Bihar State Pollution Control Board (BSPCB)’s chairman Ashok Kumar Ghosh, who was the guest of honour at the event, claimed, “Three more air pollution monitoring stations will be set up at random locations near hospitals, academic institutions and industrial areas in the next three-four months. For now, the BSPCB and the Asian Development Research Institute have installed seven low-cost monitors in the city.”
At present, there is only one continuous ambient air quality monitoring station near the Indira Gandhi Planetarium.
Ghosh also urged the doctors to conduct studies on air pollution and monitor its impact on people’s health on a regular basis.
CEED’s chief executive officer Ramapati Kumar brought to light the need to adopt a collaborative approach to deal with the impact of pollution on people’s health. “There is lack of relevant data on the impact of pollution on health in the public domain. Our aim is to compile scattered information, which is available in plenty, and help the government frame an air pollution control policy,” he said.
A panel of experts, including medical practitioners and academics, discussed the hazards of air pollution on health and recommended ways to deal with them.
- PMC expects Patna to rank better in cleanliness survey TNN | Nov 28, 2018, 02:00 IST
PATNA: The Patna Municipal Corporation (PMC) has rolled up its sleeves for Swachh Survekshan 2019 as the fourth edition of national cleanliness survey will focus more on making cities garbage and open defecation free.
Union ministry of housing and urban affairs (MOHUA) has been conducting this survey since 2016 under Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s pet initiative Swachh Bharat to rank cities across the country on different parameters of sanitation and urban planning and management.
PMC has identified areas which require immediate action in accordance with the weightage system kept in the national annual urban cleanliness survey. Officials said they would leave no stone unturned to ensure better rankings for Patna in 2019.
PMC deputy commissioner Vishal Anand said, “Our hopes are high this time as we have covered 60% of the households under the door-to-door garbage collection programme. The waste collection system has been strengthened and more public toilets have been constructed. We have also declared 38 out of the 75 wards in the city as open defecation free and await certification.”
Sudhanshu Shekhar, a resident of S K Puri, said, “There is some improvement in waste collection. Large dustbins have been removed from the roads. So, we hope Patna will perform better in the survey this time.”
Sources said a MOHUA team will visit Patna in January to assess the performance of the city on the basis of cleanliness from January to December this year.
The annual survey will be conducted in cities across the country from January 4 to 31 next year. The survey questionnaire will contain 5,000 marks, instead of 4000 in 2018.
The team will assess cleanliness levels in Patna and other cities of Bihar on four broad parameters, each containing weightage of 25%. The parameters are direct observation, citizen feedback, third party certification and service level progress (achievements in waste collection and disposal).
In 2018, Patna was ranked 309 among the 500 cities with a total score of 1644.92 out of 4000. The state capital had a rank of 262 among 434 cities in 2017. Gaya, Biharsharif, Darbhanga and Siwan were the other cities in the state which participated and ranked in the last year’s survey.
Time schedule for waste collection:
PMC has revised the time schedule for door-to-door garbage collection in the city — in residential areas from 7am to 2pm and from commercial establishments between 8pm and 10pm. It has also drafted a standard operating procedure (SOP) to bring transparency and accountability in doorstep garbage collection programme. As per the SOP, the city managers will monitor the garbage collection while sanitation inspectors will keep a vigil on the attendance of drivers and sanitation workers. PMC deputy commissioner Vishal Anand said, “The SOP will lead to better monitoring of garbage collection. It will also instill confidence and a sense of responsibility among officials engaged in sanitation work.”
- New Patna-Rajgir road to half travel time: CM Nitish Kumar Madan Kumar | TNN | Updated: Dec 2, 2018, 07:15 IST
Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar (File photo)
PATNA: Chief minister Nitish Kumar on Saturday asked road construction department (RCD) officials to build a wide road that will help passengers reach Rajgir, which is fast coming up as a major tourist centre, from Patna airport in 75 minutes.
The proposed 10-metre wide road will connect Rajgir with Karaunta in Patna district and shorten the distance and travel time between them. At the moment, the average travel time between the state capital and Rajgir is about two-and-a-half hours. Nitish gave the instructions to the RCD officials while inspecting road projects in Patna and Nalanda districts. He said the the RCD should use latest technology to build the road that will pass through places such as Telmar, Soradih, Noorsarai and Silao.
During his nearly six-hour tour, Nitish interacted with villagers living along the route and discussed the quality of road construction work. He also met officials and engineers engaged in road construction to know about their problems and the time they might require to finish the proposed road.
“The proposed road will link many villages and make a journy from Patna to Rajgir smooth and troble-free,” an RCD official said after the CM’s visit.
Nitish asked the RCD to complete work on the Bihta-Sarmera state highway (SH-78) near Dumri village as fast as possible. He announced that the stretch between Demri and Sarmera would be ready by May next year.
Nitish, who also inspected the construction of National Highway-30A near Daniyawan village, asked the RCD officials to link the NH flyover at Daniyawan with the Daniyawan-Hilsa-Islampur state highway (SH-04).
He suggested that NH officials construct elevated roads at Biharsharif, Harnaut, Mora Talab and Dhamauli while transforming NH-31 into a four-lane highways. He also said bypass roads should be built at Giriyak and Vena on NH-31 in Nalanda district. After reviewing the progress of work on the Barh-Harnaut-Fatuha national highway, Nitish said almost 75% of the project had been completed. He instructed district magistrates Kumar Ravi (Patna) and Thyagrajan S M (Nalanda) to look into the problems of land acquisition that have affected the project at five places.
RCD principal secretary Amrit Lal Meena, rural works secretary Vinay Kumar and transport secretary Sanjay Kumar Agrawal accompanied Nitish during the inspection of the road projects.
- City to get plastic waste processing unit soon TNN | Dec 3, 2018, 02:00 IST
PATNA: The Patna Municipal Corporation (PMC) has initiated fresh bidding process to rope in a firm for developing a plastic waste processing unit in the city.
PMC deputy municipal commissioner Vishal Anand said there was no system for treatment of plastic waste in the city at present. “Plastic waste is generally dumped at a solid waste landfill site at Ramachak-Bairiya village on Patna-Gaya road. Once the plastic waste processing unit starts functioning, the rural works department can use the plastic waste in construction of roads in rural areas. The plastic bags will be turned into granules and mixed with coal tar to build roads,” Anand said.
Bihar State Pollution Control Board chairman Ashok Kumar Ghosh has also hailed the initiative of the PMC. “People generally burn plastic waste, which releases toxic fumes, such as furans and dioxins. These toxic fumes can cause respiratory and other ailments among people,” Ghosh said.
He said the BSPCB would strictly implement the ban on plastic bags in urban areas of the state from December 15. “Anybody caught using or selling plastic bags will have to pay penalty,” Ghosh said.
People have also hailed the move of the civic body to develop plastic waste treatment facility. Kaushal Kishore, a resident of Kankerbaghm said, “Kankerbagh is one of the most polluted localities in the city. Proper treatment of plastic waste will go a long way in reducing pollution.”
- Squatters oppose eviction drive tnn | Dec 4, 2018, 01:00 IST
PATNA: The district administration and the Patna Municipal Corporation (PMC) on Monday launched the fourth leg of their anti-encroachment drive to remove squatters from city roads.
A police team along with PMC officials faced stiff opposition from the encroachers who have occupied the public land at Khoja Imli near Harun Nagar and Police Colony on the Phulwarisharif-Khagaul road. Locals disrupted traffic for an hour and burned tyres on the road to oppose the eviction dive.
According to sources, the encroachers had been served notices by the civic body before the drive began.
“There were minor clashes with the locals, but the situation was quickly handled with the help of police,” Patna district magistrate (DM) Kumar Ravi said, adding a special squad had been constituted for round-the-clock monitoring of areas from where encroachers had been removed.
PMC officials claimed the drive was conducted from Hartali Mor to Dhobi Ghat in New Capital Circle where illegal shops built on the roadside were demolished. At least 12 huts were razed between Kankerbagh auto stand to Defence Colony. Officials of Kankerbagh, Bankipore and Patna City circles realized Rs 7,000, Rs 17,000 and Rs 35,000, respectively as fine from the encroachers. The drive was also conducted on NH-30 and Bypass area where four permanent structures were demolished by the PMC workers.
The fourth round of anti-encroachment drive will conclude on December 17.
- Patnaites continue to breathe ‘very poor’ air Piyush Tripathi | TNN | Updated: Dec 4, 2018, 06:51 IST
A girl protecting themselves with mask from air pollution
PATNA: The Air Quality Index (AQI) of the state capital slipped from a whopping 405 on Sunday to 380 on Monday. The situation improved “slightly”, but the air pollution remained in the ‘very poor’ category.
The Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) states that very poor category of AQI can lead to respiratory illnesses on prolonged exposure.
The AQI is an assessment of the air quality taking into account eight pollutants: PM2.5 (particulate matter less than 2.5 microns), PM10 (particulate matter less than 10 microns), nitrogen oxides, sulphur dioxide, ozone, carbon monoxide, ammonia and lead.
PM2.5 has been found to be the biggest contributor to the high AQI in Patna. The average level of PM2.5 in Patna’s air on Monday was around 380 micrograms per cubic metre, nearly four times the corresponding daily permissible limit of 100 micrograms per cubic metre.
Experts at the Bihar State Pollution Control Board (BSPCB) have attributed the sudden plunge in temperature on Sunday as the reason behind steep surge in the AQI of Patna. The minimum temperature on Sunday was recorded at 14.4 degrees Celsius which was two notches lower than Saturday.
“The AQI of Patna surged from 374 on Saturday to 405 on Sunday, but dropped to 380 on Monday. Such fluctuations in AQI are quite normal in the ongoing transition season, owing to a number of meteorological as well as local factors. Low temperature and calm winds lead to atmospheric inversion which traps pollutants close to the earth’s surface,” BSPCB chairman Ashok Kumar Ghosh said on Monday.
Besides, Gaya and Muzaffarpur are also infamous for poor air quality. The AQI of Gaya on Saturday was measured at 394 which plunged to 319 on Sunday and further to 303, but remained in the ‘very poor’ category. The CPCB bulletin has not mentioned the AQI level of Muzaffarpur for the last three days.
It was in the wake of worsening air quality that the BSPCB had issued an advisory to district magistrates of Patna, Muzaffarpur and Gaya on November 24 to take mandatory measures for curbing air pollution. It talked about implementation of city-specific action plans for prevention and control of pollution, monthly review meetings and submission of compliance reports.
“Implementation of the advisory has started with steps like sprinkling of water on the streets during night hours. The impact of the advisory and implementation of action plan will be seen in another three to four months,” said Ghosh, adding the proposed ban on plastic bags in urban areas from December 15 would also lower pollution.
Meet on plastic ban
An inter-department coordination committee meeting was held on Monday for the implementation of ban on plastic bags in urban areas proposed from December 15.
According to BSPCB chairman Ashok Kumar Ghosh, teams will be formed for monitoring and implementation of the proposed ban. “Departments concerned have also been asked to take strict action against the offenders,” he added.
Different departments, including urban development and housing, transport, road construction, building construction and Patna Municipal Corporation, among others, attended the meeting.
- Expedite piped water scheme, says Nitish TNN | Dec 5, 2018, 02:00 IST
PATNA: Chief minister Nitish Kumar on Tuesday asked the district incharge ministers to visit at least 10 gram panchayats in their allotted districts to make an on-spot inspection of the work being done under the ‘Har Ghar Nal Ka Jal’ scheme and submit a report to the panchayati raj department for necessary action.
Chairing the fifth governing body meeting (second phase) of the Bihar Vikas Mission (BVM) at ‘Samvad’ auditorium here, he said the district in-charge ministers should visit at least five wards in each of the 10 gram panchayats to check the work under the scheme. He said the department would take necessary action on the basis of the report submitted by the visiting ministers. The first phase of fifth governing body meeting was held on November 16 this year.
The CM also asked the officials concerned to take necessary steps to ensure quality in the work being executed by the ward samitis under the piped water supply scheme and the ‘Pakki Nali Gali’ scheme of the state government. He said the work under the two schemes should be expedited under mission mode.
The CM told the officials that henceforth, technical approval under the piped water scheme would be given by the junior engineers. He asked the officials to convert all single pit toilets into double pits in rural areas to enhance their utility.
- Air quality ‘severe’ in Patna for second consecutive day Piyush Tripathi | TNN | Updated: Dec 8, 2018, 14:12 IST
A view of heavy smog at Gandhi Maidan in Patna on Friday
PATNA: Air quality of Patna and other major towns of the state continues to deteriorate despite recent advisories issued by the Bihar State Pollution Control Board (BSPCB).
The air quality index (AQI) of Patna, as per daily bulletin released by the Central Pollution Control Board, remained at a whopping 405 on the second consecutive day on Friday, putting it in the ‘severe’ category. According to the CPCB, severe air quality can affect healthy people and seriously impact those with existing diseases.
The air quality in Patna was the fourth worst in the country on Friday. While Ghaziabad topped the chart in terms of worst air quality with an AQI of 429, Muzaffarpur, where AQI was measured at 420, stood second. Kolkata was at third position with an AQI of 406.
The air quality at Gaya in south Bihar was in ‘very poor’ category as it stood at 314. As per CPCB guidelines, ‘very poor’ category of AQI can lead to respiratory illness on prolonged exposure.
The AQI is an assessment of the air quality taking into account eight pollutants – PM2.5 (particulate matter less than 10 microns), PM10 (particulate matter less than 10 microns), nitrogen oxides, sulphur dioxide, ozone, carbon monoxide, ammonia and lead.
PM2.5 has been found to be the biggest contributor to high AQI in Patna. The level of PM2.5 in the air at Patna on Friday evening was 232 micrograms per cubic metre, over two times the daily permissible limit of 100 micrograms per cubic metre.
Experts attributed the surge in AQI to plunge in temperature along with misty conditions in the morning, which led to trapping of particulate matters in the lower level of atmosphere.
It was in the wake of high AQI that BSPCB had on November 24 issued an advisory to district magistrates of Patna, Muzaffarpur and Gaya to take mandatory measures aimed at curbing air pollution. The advisory stipulated implementation of city-specific action plan for prevention and control of air pollution.
Asked about steps being taken by the district administration to address the issue, Patna DM Kumar Ravi said, “We have asked officials concerned, including the sub- divisional officers and different agencies, to curb air pollution by preventing the spread of dust particles in the city. Steps are also being taken to ensure strict implementation of eco-friendly construction norms, including covering construction sites with nets.”
The DM said the talks were also on with the civic body for regular sprinkling of water on the roads to prevent spread of dust particles.
- Piped cooking gas supply in city likely from January TNN | Dec 8, 2018, 02:00 IST
PATNA: The much-awaited supply of piped cooking gas to households in the city is likely to begin from January next year as the ambitious Jagdishpur-Haldia gas pipeline project, being executed by the Gas Authority of India Limited (GAIL), has been delayed by a month due to hurdles in pipeline laying work in some districts.
The project, being executed in the city with an expenditure of Rs 500 crore, is aimed at providing piped cooking gas to 50,000 households.
Officials said of the 490km-long Allahabad (Prayagraj)-Barauni-Patna pipeline network, the pipeline laying work at a 250-metre stretch in Barachatti, Gaya and at 500-metre stretch at Poiwan village in Aurangabad has been hampered due to protests by villagers, who are demanding higher compensation for their land.
K B Singh, executive director of GAIL (eastern region), said, “The pipeline laying work is currently stalled in Aurangabad and Gaya districts due to villagers’ protest. We will soon settle all issues and start the piped cooking gas supply in Patna from January next year.”
The user charges for piped cooking gas will be Rs 30 per kg for households. The charges for commercial entities, such as hotels and restaurants, will be decided through an agreement depending upon the scale of gas consumption by commercial establishments. The consumers will have to pay Rs 5,000 as installation charge, including meter cost. The installation charges can be paid in monthly instalments.
“The service will be launched with an initial base of 5,000 consumers in Patna and it will gradually cover all households in the city. Apart from Patna, households in Bihta, Barh, Paliganj, Mokama and Bakhtiyarpur sub-divisions will also be covered,” Singh added.
He said piped cooking gas connections have already been provided to 2,000 households in Patna and the remaining households would be covered before the launch of the project.
There will be flexible metering system for consumers of piped cooking gas. Apart from meter reading officials, the consumers can also upload the picture of their meters online and pay their bills through online mode.
“Two compressed natural gas (CNG) stations will also be set up in Patna by January next year. The rates of CNG will be Rs 60 per kg for CNG-run vehicles,” the executive director of GAIL said.
- Now, pay for garbage collection from next month TNN | Updated: Dec 8, 2018, 07:40 IST
PATNA: The standing committee of Patna Municipal Corporation (PMC) on Friday decided to charge fee from the residents of the city for door-to-door garbage collection from January. The facility, which was launched by CM Nitish Kumar on October 2 this year, had so far been free of cost.
The amount to be charged will depend on the category of the establishment. The different categories include residential units, commercial units, restaurants, office buildings and shopping complexes. Residents can pay the amount through online mode or directly to the civic body supervisors. A decision to this effect was taken at the standing committee meeting of the civic body chaired by mayor Sita Sahu.
“The waste collection is expected to fetch us Rs 90 lakh per month,” PMC municipal commissioner Anupam Kumar Suman said, adding the civic body has also decided to reward employees of different cadres to boost their confidence and encourage them to perform better.
Meanwhile, the civic body will now impose a fine of Rs 300 on people if they are caught littering the city with dirt. “We will start hiring retired employees on contract basis to increase workforce in the corporation,” Suman said.
He added work on covering open manholes in the city would be completed before December 31. “The construction of 200 modular and 50 e-toilets equipped with modern facilities is also under process. We have also planned to beautify the city walls with Mithila paintings,” Suman said.
- RERA issues notices to 9 erring builders Faryal Rumi | TNN | Dec 9, 2018, 02:00 IST
PATNA: Real Estate Regulatory Authority (RERA)-Bihar has issued notices to nine builders for advertising and promoting their projects without registering them with the Authority. The deadline for RERS registration was recently extended to December-end with a late fine.
The notices were issued to the builders for not complying with Section 3 of the Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Act, 2016, which makes it mandatory for builders to get permanent approval before advertising their projects, entering into an agreement with customers and accepting advance money from them.
Notices were issued to developers of Tejeshwi Uma Enclave (Darbhanga), Green City (Sonepur, Patna), Motihari Plots (Motihari), Muzaffarpur Plots (Muzaffarpur), Rajendran Residency (Danapur, Patna), Ahilya Homes (Patna), Shri Ganesha Township Duplex (Patna), Nirala Nagar (Patna) and Divya Krishna Apartment (Digha, Patna).
RERA-Bihar member Rajiva Bhushan Sinha told this newspaper on Saturday that the Authority issued notices to builders for violating the RERA Act and reply has been sought from them within two weeks.
“If they fail to reply within the stipulated time or the reply given is not satisfactory, the Authority will take action against them as deemed under Section 59 and 60 of the RERA Act, which states the builder shall be liable to a penalty which may extend up to 10% of the estimated cost of the real estate project,” Sinha said.
He added, “The builders advertised, marketed, booked and sold the plots and flats to customers without registering the projects with RERA. The Authority saw the advertisements of the projects on real estate websites.”
RERA-Bihar has so far issued 300 notices to builders in last seven months for non-registration of their projects.
- Authorities gear up for plastic ban from December 14 TNN | Updated: Dec 10, 2018, 06:48 IST
By: Saloni Vats
PATNA: The state government has geared up for effective implementation of ban on plastic carry bags in urban areas from December 14. Directives have been issued to officials of different departments to take required steps to accomplish the mission.
According to sources, the urban development and housing department (UDHD) has been made the nodal department for implementation of the proposed ban. The UDHD has advised all the stakeholders to come forward and make the ban a success. Task forces, comprising the district magistrate, Patna Municipal Corporation officials, police personnel, Bihar State Pollution Control Board (BSPCB) members, NGOs and self-help groups, have been formed for surprise inspection of different shops, restaurants, vegetable vendors and other places to confiscate the leftover stock of polythene bags.
“Teams will be formed to create awareness about the adverse effects of plastic on the environment. They will also distribute paper and jute bags among people,” BSPCB’s senior scientist S N Jaiswal said.
The notification issued by the state government on October 15 stipulates that if anybody is caught manufacturing, importing, storing, distributing, selling, transporting and using plastic bags, they will have to pay around Rs 5 lakh as fine. There is, however, an exception for plastic bags with thickness of more than 50 microns used in collecting and storing of biomedical waste. Plastic used in the packaging of food items and dairy products is also exempted from the ban.
PMC deputy municipal commissioner Vishal Anand said, “We are ready to put all our efforts to make this ban successful. We will organize campaigns to create mass awareness regarding the ill-effects of plastic bags.”
Owners of several grocery stores in the city have already started giving paper bags to customers. “I ask my customers to bring cloth bags. If people start acting responsibly, only then can the ban be effectively implemented,” Ankur Sinha, a shopkeeper at Mithapur, told this reporter.
- Leftover plastic stocks to be incinerated TNN | Dec 14, 2018, 02:00 IST
PATNA: Keeping in mind the ban on plastic bags of all shapes and sizes from Friday, the authorities have geared up for disposing of the leftover stocks.
According to Bihar State Pollution Control Board (BSPCB) chairman Ashok Kumar Ghosh, incinerators will be used to get rid of the leftover stocks of plastic at Patna, Muzaffarpur and Bhagalpur. They will also be used for construction of roads in rural areas.
“A 60-day deadline was given to people for disposing of the existing stocks of plastic. They will be burned in three different incineration centres in Patna, Muzaffarpur and Bhagalpur,” Ghosh said.
Deliberating on the process of constructing roads using plastic, Ghosh explained, “Constructing roads using plastic is a great option as it does not lead to air pollution.”
Sources claimed plastic-based raw materials for constructing roads will be generated in a plastic waste treatment plant to be developed by the Patna Municipal Corporation (PMC). The plastic will be treated and turned into smaller granules which will be further mixed with coal tar and used in building roads. After setting up the plant, the civic body along with the rural works department will work on constructing village roads.
Raj Kumar, a plastic bag dealer at Mithapur, said he had already sold out his entire stock. “I have switched from plastic to cloth bags. It was tough for me, but I have to look at the bigger picture and contribute towards the betterment of environment,” he told this reporter.
Kankerbagh resident Rajni Chaudhary appreciated the government’s initiative, saying, “Plastic forms a major chunk of daily household waste. I welcome the ban on plastic, but it will require a lot of efforts to make it successful.”
- Paper, cloth bags find many takers Faryal Rumi | TNN | Dec 14, 2018, 02:00 IST
PATNA: City residents and shopkeepers are looking for alternative arrangements such as paper, cloth and jute bags as plastic ban will be implemented in urban areas from Friday.
Several shopkeepers claimed plastic bags were cost effective and easily available. Ashok Mantani, the owner of a confectionery on Boring Road, said, “We have started providing paper bags for small items and recyclable polypropylene bags for bulk items. Customers have to pay for both bags.”
Mukesh Shrivastava, a grocery shop owner at Lalji Tola, is charging Rs 5 each from customers who need bags to carry goods. He said, “I have stopped giving items in plastic bags and am using cloth bags. My wife and daughter helped me make 60 bags by using old clothes.”
Jamal Road resident Aaruni Gupta was taken aback when a vendor gave her vegetables in a paper bag on Thursday. “I asked him to give me a plastic bag, but he refused. I was happy to see that he knew about the government’s initiative. This will certainly bring a positive change in society,” she said, adding she would start using jute bags now.
Aashraful and Anupam Singh, who have shops at Patna Market and Frazer Road, respectively have started using paper bags.
Boring Canal Road resident Nik Slish is also trying to discard plastic bags. “It will be difficult for us, but we will soon adapt to the change,” she said.
- Bihar ban on use of plastic in urban belt from today Piyush Tripathi | TNN | Updated: Dec 14, 2018, 13:41 IST
PATNA: Use of plastic bags and sheets of any size and thickness will be banned in urban areas of the state with only three exceptions from Friday.
Violation of the ban will attract penalties ranging from Rs 100 to Rs 500 in case of households and Rs 1,000 to Rs 5,000 in case of those littering public places, such as parks and commercial hubs, with plastic bags. The penalties will be realised from the violators from December 23 onwards.
The state urban development and housing department has asked authorities concerned in all 38 districts to form city squads or task forces as well as district level monitoring committees for ensuring strict implementation of the ban.
The state government has, however, allowed use of plastic bags with thickness of more than 50 microns for bio-medical purposes, dairy products and plantation activities. In rural areas, plastic bags will be banned from January 14.
Bihar State Pollution Control Board chairman Ashok Ghosh said single-use plastic and thermocol products, such as disposable cups, plates, spoons, glasses and straws, would also be banned in near future.
“Since a blanket ban on plastic was not feasible, the state government decided to start with banning plastic bags and sheets in the first stage. The ban will be extended to all single-use plastic products in the next phase,” Ghosh told TOI on Thursday.
He added, “Plastic is a non-biodegradable material which causes land and water pollution. The plastic particles, after breaking into tiny particles (micro plastic), enter into human body as people consume groundwater contaminated with plastic. This severely affects people’s health and even leads to the deadly cancer disease.” Taking suo motu cognizance of a news report on June 23 this year about pollution in a pond on the premises of the Mahabodhi temple at Bodh Gaya, the Patna high court had on August 27 asked the government to enact a law to ban plastic in the state.
The state environment, forest and climate change department had issued a notification on October 15 this year, banning manufacture, import, distribution, sale and transportation of plastic carry bags in urban areas from December 14.