Polythene poses threat

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Authorities have failed to enforce the ban on use of polythene in Srinagar city.
The unabated use of polythene is the main cause of pollution in the summer capital of Jammu and Kashmir.
According to the media reports Srinagar Municipality a few months ago had set up a full-fledged “anti-polythene” cell to enforce the ban on the use of polythene in the city.
It has been established beyond doubt that a strong lobby of businessmen who manufacture polythene have ensured that import of polythene into the Kashmir continues. The J&K government has failed to act against the units which manufacture polythene in Jammu division. The polythene bags manufactured by these units reach the Valley without any hindrance and the strong network of distributors ensures that these bags reach every nook and corner of the Valley.
In 2009, the then NC led Omar Abdullah government had tied up with an Italian company to produce bio-plastic bags from corn, wheat and potato starch. These bags were to replace plastic shopping bags. During the past nine-years not much forward movement has taken place to replace these plastic shopping bags.
Whenever J&K government has tried to impose a ban on the use of plastic bags something or other has happened. The Jammu and Kashmir is probably the only state in the country where the use of polythene continues unabated. In other states, governments have successfully implemented this ban. The people at the helm need to act and rise above politics to ensure that ban on the polythene is imposed in letter and spirit. If the use of polythene continues unabated it would wreck havoc with the fragile environment of the Valley.