New Delhi: The use of polythene bags is going on unabated in the pilgrimage town of Haridwar with traders and residents rampantly using them despite the ban order, the National Green Tribunal was told today.
"Things are in a very bad shape in Haridwar. There is a report that condition of ghats are bad. Some steps must be taken immediately," a bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar said after a status report on execution of Tribunal's order was submitted.
The green panel had in July imposed a complete ban on use of plastic bags in the pilgrim cities of Haridwar and Rishikesh and announced a fine of Rs 5,000 as per polluter pays principle.
The Tribunal directed Uttarakhand government and state pollution control board to reply to the report and posted the matter for hearing on August 19.
Advocate Sharik Zaidi, the Commissioner appointed by the Tribunal, told the bench that on August 1, he along with government officials, inspected various sites in Haridwar to check the implementation of the Tribunal's July 2 order.
"Kanwariya pilgrims coming to Haridwar in the month of Shravan (Saawan) are using plastic bottles for taking Gangajal. Additionally, polythene sheets were being openly sold in the market.
"No cleanliness activity was carried out by the administration on Har Ki Pauri Ghat as Ganga Sabha is taking care of cleanliness but they are also not maintaining cleanliness even though this Tribunal directed Nagar Nigam and police authority to maintain the Ghats," the Commissioner said in his inspection report.
"The Nagar Nigam and Uttarakhand Pollution Control Board were directed to install dustbins but I did not find any bin on any ghat and found solid waste lying on all over the places. The government officials informed me that they have placed the order for dustbin," Zaidi said adding that even restaurants are being run without food safety license.
The Tribunal had imposed a complete ban on plastic bags in Haridwar and Rishikesh saying,"plastic will not be used for any purpose whatsoever i.E for serving food, commodities, packing items etc.