Srinagar, Jun 24: Jammu and Kashmir government will ban use of polythene bags at all tourist places while ensuring that this environmentally-hazardous material does not enter the state through Lakhanpur.
"The use of polythene will be completely banned at all tourist places and government will ensure that no polythene enters the state through Lakhanpur," Environment and Forest Minister Lal Singh said in the Assembly today.
He was replying to a private member's resolution moved by BJP member R S Pathania on behalf of party member Gagan Bhagat, to make Jammu and Kashmir a polythene free state. Congress MLA G M Saroori said Jammu and Kashmir is a tourist state with "fragile" environment.
He called for complete ban on polythene in the state. The Minister said government is concerned over the ill-effects of polythene usage in the state and various steps are being taken to address the issue. "Police will be given powers to check and take action to control polythene menace," he said.
The Minister appealed to people to start from their homes the mission to make Jammu and Kashmir a polythene-free state and adopt biodegradable options as a counter to polythene.
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Mubarak Gul of National Conference urged the government to check and seize any polythene at Lakhanpur toll post and no polythene should be allowed to enter the state. He also called for undertaking an awareness programmes for making people and officers aware of the menace of the polythene.
Pawan Kumar Gupta (Independent) said polythene is being irresponsibly dumped in rivers and open spaces, which is destroying water sources and agricultural land of the state. He called for complete segregation of garbage and their proper disposal. Y
awar Ahmad Mir of ruling PDP said majority of population and business is dependent on polythene and there is a need to bring alternative for polythene before going for complete ban.
Bashir Ahmad Dar of Peoples Conference called on the government to bring a strict law to deal with the polythene menace. The resolution was later withdrawn by Pathania in view of the assurance given by the government.