Chandigarh, June 16:Under Tandrust Punjab Mission, Statewide Raids to monitor the efficacy of ban on plastic carry bags were conducted on Saturday by the joint teams of Punjab Pollution Control Board and the Department of Local Bodies, informed KS Pannu, Director Tandrust Punjab Mission.

Giving details, Mission Director informed that surprise checks were made at nearly 500 shops/units revealing over 200 violations. On the spot collection of fine was to the tune of Rs. 1 lac and 179 challans were issued. As many as 4000 kilograms of plastic carry bags were confiscated during the raids with nearly 1100 kgs from district Fatehgarh Sahib alone.

Mr. Pannu said that as per Subsection 2 of Section 7 of the Punjab Plastic Carry Bags (Manufacture, Usage and Disposal) Control Act, 2005, Government of Punjab has already completely prohibited manufacturing, stocking, distribution, recycling, sale and use of plastic carry bags in the in the State.

The plastic Carry bags are the bags having self carrying handle or "D" punched handle made either from plain plastic or non-woven plastic. Commissioners of Municipal Corporations, Executive Officers of the Municipal Councils/Nagar Panchayats and Panchayat Secretaries , as the case may be are authorized to take action in pursuance to the provisions of the Act, in the areas under their respective jurisdictions. The Punjab Pollution Control Board is authorized to take action against the units manufacturing/storing such plastic carry bags, he added.

Mission Director said that it has been observed that despite ban, use of plastic carry bags is still rampant in Punjab, which is a gross violation of the Law and a serious environmental hazard. So, a special drive has been initiated to ensure strict compliance of the law.

Pannu said that as per the directions of Chief Minister Punjab large scale raids/checks would be undertaken to ensure implementation of the Law in the days to come.