DIMAPUR, SEPTEMBER 19: Even as the ban on single-use plastic came into force from today, most shops were seen using polythene bags freely in Dimpaur on Wednesday, barring some using paper bags.
When Nagaland Page visited some market places and colonies in Dimapur town, most traders were using the banned polythene bags. There were no reports of any check from the district authorities to enforce the total ban that came into effect from today.
The ban on all single use plastic in Nagaland will come into force from October 1. But in Dimapur District, the ban came into effect from today (Sept 18) after the forward looking district authorities here decided that the Dimapur will take the lead in enforcing the ban in the State.
The Dimapur Municipal Council was first to announce the ban on single-use plastic, followed by the Dimapur District administration, but unfortunately their announcements appear to have gone in vain, perhaps taking into consideration past precedence of Government orders ending up in papers only and not implemented on ground in the State, particularly Dimapur.
DC Dimapur, Kevekha Kevin Zehol had notified total ban on single-use plastic in Dimapur from September 18 in continuation of the notification dated November 29 last year. The ban on single-use plastic in Dimapur from September 18 comes ahead of the total ban on single-use plastic that will come into effect on October 1 across the State.
Across the State, awareness campaign on the statewide total ban on single use of plastics from October 1 is ongoing and will continue till September 30. But in Dimapur, no such campaigns are likely to be held now since the ban has already come into effect from today.
With no awareness among majority of the public and little to no regulation from the authorities, there is the danger of total ban on single use plastic ending up like the failed total ban on liquor in Nagaland. Incidentally, banned liquors of all brands packed in banned (black) polythene bags were seen being handed over the counter from banned liquor shops and hotels/restaurants located in almost all major junctions of Dimapur town in full public view but conveniently unseen and undetected from the prying eyes of the enforcing agencies.
On Wednesday, the first day of the single-use plastic ban in Dimapur, polythene bags were being readily used in most shops, without any visible check from the authorities.
Polythene bags were mostly seen being used by vegetable and fruit vendors in the market, while some high end consumer good shops in deference of the ban were using other alternatives like non-woven carry bags.
It is not only polythene bags that are banned, but cutlery items, plastic cups and plates, things made from Styrofoam (thermocol) have also been banned in Nagaland. But the same were seen readily available in the market today.
A local businessman said it would take time for people to make a habit of carrying their own bags to the market places, but was in favour of strict enforcement of the ban on single-use plastic. He, however, was apprehensive of the authorities resolve to enforce the total ban. (Page News Service)