The Collector can book those who violate the plastic ban in a non-bailable case, which will include imprisonment and fine.

Kollam Municipality sets new deadline for plastic ban to book violators from Feb 1
news Waste Management Wednesday, January 29, 2020 - 07:35

The Kollam Municipal Corporation has decided to extend the deadline to officially start implementing the Kerala government’s drive against plastic. The new deadline for the plastic ban will begin from February 1. After this, if any shops are found handling plastic, the Corporation will ask the District Collector to book the person under the provisions of the Disaster Management Act, 2005.  

“We have been conducting the drive and have caught several shops using and storing plastics. We have not been fining them as the Council decided to relax the norms for a few more days. This will be strictly implemented from February 1. If persons are still found violating the norms, we will write to the Collector to take necessary actions as per the Act,” the Kollam Municipal Corporation Secretary told TNM.   

The Collector can then book the person in a non-bailable case, which will include imprisonment and fine, she added. 

Incidentally, sold waste management, too, has been an issue in Kollam. With sewage and plastics in all forms strewn around, the biodiversity park at Asramam in Kerala’s Kollam district is a picture of a dump yard. This biodiversity park is one of the major attractions in the district as well as the state. 

The biodiversity park, which includes the Asramam mangroves forest, is located on the banks of Ashtamudi Lake, the second largest lake in Kerala and a Ramsar listed wetland of international importance. Apart from a government guest house complex, the site also consists of the creek of Ashtamudi Lake. It has a biodiversity of mangrove species, rare, endemic and endangered plants, fish and even attracts migratory birds. 

However, sewage waste and plastic pollution have caused severe environmental problems in the area, turning it into a fragile ecosystem. 

Residents started throwing and burning garbage in the park, with tourists littering the park with plastic items. Untreated urban solid and liquid wastes, including septic, fish processing units, houseboats and medical waste, too, are being reportedly discharged into the lake. 

Similarly, until 2013, Kollam Municipal Corporation is said to have disposed of waste in an open space between two temples. Although the Municipal Corporation had announced that a modern solid waste treatment plant would be set up in the vacant land between the temples, later, the civic body started dumping garbage at the site. This issue was brought to light when two residents in the area approached the Supreme Court in 2012. The case was later referred to the National Green Tribunal (NGT). 

In December 2019, the NGT Southern Zone directed the Municipal authorities to follow Indore’s disposal model within six months. Failing this, a fine of Rs 1 crore will be deducted from the officials responsible. ​