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By A Newsman

Siliguri, 30 November: WEST Bengal government has imposed a blanket ban on plastic carry bags in Siliguri sub-division and the added areas of Siliguri Municipal Corporation that fall in Jalpaiguri district.

In a notification issued on 24 November, the state environment depart has stated that import, manufacture, storage, supply and use of plastic carry bags is prohibited in the specified area. The ban has been put in place under sections 5 and 09 of the Environment (Protection) Act 1986, read with a relevant notification of the Union ministry of environment and forests dated 06 June 1989.

The environment department has communicated the decision to the civil administration in Siliguri and the authorities of the Siliguri Municipal Corporation (SMC). The SDO, BDO, SMC commissioner and its sanitation / food inspectors have been given powers to initiate punitive measures against any violation of the ban.

Congress leader and a former member of the SMC’s Mayor-in-Council, Sujay Ghatak, today led a delegation to the West Bengal Pollution Control Board’s regional officer at Matigara in Siliguri and demanded that the ban should be implemented in letter and spirit.

Back in 2010, Ghatak was instrumental in effecting a ban on use of plastic carry bags in SMC area. But there was no ban on manufacture and sales of the same.

The fresh blanket ban imposed by the Bengal government on import, manufacture, storage, supply and use of plastic carry bags in the greater Siliguri area is being viewed as a welcome move by environment activists.

The move will however hit the handful of carry bag manufacturing units that are located the Dabgram Industrial Growth Centre near Fulbari on the outskirts of Siliguri.