Fine for using banned plastic remains Rs 5,000

BMC told it has no powers to reduce penalty.

Mumbai: The minimum fine for using banned plastic will continue to be Rs 5,000. In a dramatic move, the law committee of the Brihanmumbai Mun-icipal Corporation (BMC) has rejected the proposal to reduce the fine amount to Rs 200, stating that the civic body has no powers to do so.

“Since the plastic ban has been announced by the state government, it is their prerogative to decide the fines. The BMC is just the implementing agency for the ban. Hence, we decided to reject the proposal. We now want the state government to look into the matter and decide on reducing the penalty charges,” said Suvarna Karanje, chairperson of the law committee.

The civic administration had tabled a proposal for reducing the fine for banned plastic before the civic law committee, which discussed the issue in detail on Wednesday. However, members of the committee across parties later decided to reject the proposal on the basis that it was not in the BMC’s jurisdiction to revise penalty rates.

Sources however revealed that the Shiv Sena, which is the ruling party in the BMC, is worried that reduction in penalty may create confusion over implementation of the ban. “The plastic ban has been announced statewide and the penalty is also uniform throughout the state. With only BMC reducing fines, utter commotion would have been created over implementation of the ban in other parts. Hence, it was better to leave the matter to the state government to decide on the fine,” said one of the party corporators.

The state government has declared a fine of Rs 5,000 and Rs 10,000, respectively, for a first-time and second-time offender. A third-time offender will be fined Rs 25,000 and sentenced to imprisonment for three months. The plastic ban will come into force from Friday, June 23.

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