Informing that the government is seriously considering dumping of plastic garbage on roads and other public places a cognizable offence by December 2012
PANAJI: Informing that the government is seriously considering dumping of plastic garbage on roads and other public places a cognizable offence by December 2012, the Chief Minister, Mr Manohar Parrikar on Monday said that there would be serious implementation of the anti-plastic laws in the state in the future.
Coming out with this information during the question hour, the Chief Minister also said that the government is working out a clear-cut policy on control of plastic garbage, which would be placed in the House once ready.
"Meanwhile, we are undertaking clearing of highways and roads from plastic garbage," he added, pointing out that the work of clearing such ‘plastic dump’ areas would begin by the end of monsoon, and the government is in the process of procuring the necessary equipments.
The Chief Minister said that the pet bottles are banned only in certain places in the state such as Miramar beach region, wildlife area, and so on. "The government is also contemplating ban on the plastic bags over a period of next three years," Mr Parrikar informed, adding that such a ban cannot come into force at once, and needs to be imposed in a phased manner.
"Some areas could also be excluded from such a ban, and plastic bags with certain thickness allowed in these areas," he concluded.
Earlier, informing that the government intends to set up garbage management zones around the state, the Minister for Environment, Ms Alina Saldanha said the government intends to reinforce anti-garbage legislations such as the Goa Non-. Biodegradable Garbage (Control), Act, 1996, besides prohibition on throwing of garbage in drains, gutters and along roadsides.
"The enforcement mechanism of the government against the garbage menace, including plastic garbage would be penalty driven," she assured, stating that the government intends to phase out plastic from the state in a phased manner.
The Minister for Environment further said the anti-garbage action plan, which would be soon in place, will consist of sustainable education through public awareness and sensitisation of the local bodies such as municipalities and village panchayats. She further said the government intends to come out with certain policies to ban throwing of plastic in rivers and along the beaches. It was informed that help is being sought from government departments like the public works department and the Goa State Infrastructure Development Corporation to clean plastic waste along the highways and roads.
Ms Saldanha also informed that the government has recently formulated monitoring-cum-working committee to support various activities of government as well as NGOs in controlling plastic garbage menace. "The inspectors of the police as well as excise departments and the municipality, and panchayat secretaries are enforcing the plastic ban," the Minister for Environment stated, further admitting that there have been some violations in this regard, in spite of the enforcement. She maintained that the monitoring-cum-working committee would now keep a strict vigil over the enforcement mechanism.
The leader of the opposition, Mr Pratapsingh Rane said the enforcement of ban on plastic material should not be restricted to Goan beaches, but carried out in the entire state of Goa.
The Margao MLA, Mr Digambar Kamat suggested that the areas near airport and railway stations should be kept free from plastic garbage on priority, as that would prevent damage to the image of the state.