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Stop entry of polythene into J&K: HC tells Govt

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Implementing ban on use of polythene …

BY:Rashid Paul

Srinagar, Mar 07: Expressing anguish at the dreadful conditions created by the extensive use of polythene in J&K, the High Court on Wednesday directed the government to set up a mechanism to prevent the entry of this non-biodegradable product into the state.

Adjudicating a public interest petition related to the degradation caused to Pahalgam tourist resort in recent years, a division bench today directed the J&K Chief Secretary to set up a mechanism at Lakhanpur, the entry point to the state from mainland India, so that the ban on use of polythene is implemented in letter and spirit.

The court also directed the divisional commissioners of both provinces of the state to monitor the entry, trade and sale of polythene material and indicate progress by filing a latest status report on next date of hearing.

The High Court has already sought a comprehensive report from the government on SRO-45 which allows use of polythene with 50 microns in thickness despite blanket ban by the court in the state.

The direction followed a Pollution Control Board (PCB) statement before the court that the use of polythene in Pahalgam is strictly banned. However, the polythene with 50 microns in thickness is allowed by virtue of SRO 45 passed on February last year.

“Ban on polythene carry bags. Ban on the manufacture, stocking, distribution, sale and use of polythene carry bags, plastic sheets or like, cover made of plastic sheet, plastic packaging and multilayered packaging less than 50 microns in thickness within the territorial limits,” reads the contentious SRO-45.

The court also observed that till a comprehensive report is filed there should be complete ban on use of polythene in Pahalgam tourist resort in addition to the entire state.

The court also sought presentation of the controversial SRO from the authorities.

With regard to unabated constructions in and around the resort, Pahalgam Development Authority (PDA) has been directed to strictly comply with the directions of the court and ensure no fresh construction comes up.

The court has already directed PDA and PCB to consult with each other and prepare an action plan on solid waste management and sewage treatment with regard to Pahalgam in accordance with the provisions of law.

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