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HC orders strict ban on use of polythene in J&K..

The High Court on Wednesday directed the government to strictly implement a ban on the use of polythene and other plastic items, saying if there is deviation of its orders the concerned officials will be fined.

A division bench of the acting chief Justice Ramalingam Sudhakar and Justice M K Hanjura directed Commissioner Secretary House & Urban Development Department to ensure that the ban on the use of plastic and other polythene items is implemented by concerned officials in letter and spirit.

“If there is ban on use of plastic and other polythene items, the concerned officials shall effectively implement (it). If there is any deviation on part of officials they will suffer consequences with costs,” the court said.

The court sought to know about the tenders floated or in pipeline with regard to solid wastage management in three regions of Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh.

It also directed Agriculture, Horticulture and Floriculture departments to furnish details about the treatment of biodegradable waste generated in fruit and vegetable mandis and markets across the state as per different Centrally sponsored schemes including National Mission for Sustainable Horticulture (NMSH) and other schemes.

The court was hearing a Public Interest Litigation filed by an NGO, Environmental Policy Group (EPG), through its counsel Shafqat Nazir. The PIL is also seeking directions to the government about the treatment and disposal of the Bio-Medical Waste generated in all private, government hospitals, nursing homes, clinics etc across the State in accordance with rules.

The petition also seeks directions to the government to take steps for the treatment of fruit and vegetable waste across the state.

“The waste gets mixed with other non-biodegradable waste and finally dumped unscientifically at the landfill site despite the fact that a proper mechanism was available for getting funding from Union Agriculture Ministry for purchasing machines to process the same which will be finally converted into organic compost.”

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