Agra to make World Heritage sites polythene free

Agra/Mathura, Dec 28 (IANS) The Agra Municipal Corporation will, for yet another time, launch a campaign to ban the use of polythene bags in the city, specially at World Heritage sites, from the New Year.

Municipal Commissioner Indra Vikram Singh said, “To begin with, the drive would be confined to the historical monuments. Later, it will be extended to the whole city.”
Similar drives were launched in 2008 and 2010 too, but without much success.
“Unless they ban the manufacture of polythene bags and deny (their) entry into the city from Delhi and Kanpur side, the campaign will not succeed,” said eco-activist Shravan Kumar Singh.
“The laws are already there, the apex court directives are there, but the administration lacks the will to enforce the ban,” he added.
In Mathura and Vrindavan, district magistrate Rajesh Kumar has already announced a ban.
Rallies and meetings are being organised to create awareness among the people. The district magistrate has formed committees headed by sub-divisional magistrates to challan shops found using polythene bags.
Vrindavan was announced a polythene-free zone under the directive of the Allahabad High Court two years ago, but the local body failed to implement the order.
“The areas around the Yamuna ghats, at road crossings, near temples, you can see heaps of polythene piled up and no one is doing anything to curb its use,” said Jagan Nath Poddar, convener of Friends of Vrindavan.
The NGO has taken up cleanliness work on the VIP road of Chatikara, the main entry point to Vrindavan, close to the ISKCON temple.
The drive, announced two weeks ago, has already started petering out in Goverdhan town. Despite the ban, polythene bags are used by shopkeepers and flower vendors.