Intensifying the drive against use of plastic bags, the health wing officials of Madurai Corporation raided as many as 138 shops around Meenakshi Sundareswarar Temple and seized a little over two tonnes of the banned articles on Wednesday. They also imposed a fine of ₹91,900 on shopkeepers.

The Corporation had announced that plastic (below 50 microns in thickness) should not be used in any form and appealed to the people to carry own bags (made of jute or cloth) while shopping. Corporation Commissioner Sandeep Nanduri told reporters that adequate time was given to shopkeepers to withdraw polythene bags from circulation since the last quarter of 2016.

Complying with rule

The rule came into effect in January. While a majority of shopkeepers had stopped issuing plastic carry bags with a thickness of below 50 microns and even displayed boards announcing ‘We don’t use banned plastics,’ a small section of the outlets in the thickly populated zone around the temple continued to use them.

On information, the officials, led by Assistant City Health Officer Parthiban, conducted searches in Vengalakadai Street, East Avanimoola Street, East Masi Street and Thalavai Agraharam Street. The team found banned plastic articles stashed in 35 of the 138 shops they inspected.

After seizing the banned articles, the officials issued notice to the shopkeepers directing them to pay penalty, the failure or delay of which would result in legal action.

Mr. Nanduri said public could alert the Corporation about the use of banned plastic by any shopkeeper through WhatsApp at 7449 104 104. Identity of the complainant would be kept confidential.