Thane shop keepers beware, you’ll be fined for selling thermocol
TMC raids 180 shops and seizes 61kg thermocol; residents told to dump thermocol
Though the state has banned thermocol from this festive season, most shops in the city continue to sell them.
The Thane Municipal Corporation has raided around 180 shops since last week and seized more than 61 kgs of thermocol. It collected Rs30,000 in fines.
The TMC’s pollution control department has appealed to residents to dump the previous year’s thermocol decorations in the collection centres set up at ward offices.
The state has ban the use of plastic and thermocol and will fine Rs5,000 on those who continue to use them.
Despite the ban, thermocol is openly sold in some of the shops in Thane.
Manish Pradhan, pollution control officer of TMC, said, “We initiated action on August 30 in Kopri, Naupada, Uthalsar and Manpada wards. Thirty shops were checked and 50 kgs of thermocol seized. We also collected a fine of Rs27,700. In the next drive on September 5, we checked more than 150 shops in Kalwa and Kharegaon. More than 11 kgs of thermocol were seized.”
The seized thermocol will be sent to the treatment plant at CP Tank.
Pradhan added, “The plant is closed for maintenance and we will start it during the Ganeshotsav celebration. People who still have thermocol in their homes can deposit them at the bins set up at each of the 10 ward offices.”
Last year, the municipal corporation had set up thermocol collection centres at immersion sites. They will not do so this year. Pradhan said, “Residents did not make use of the bins. So, this year we will not be installing them.”
The shop keepers said that many residents are reluctant to buy eco-friendly decorations.
Dimjibhai Shah, who has set up his stall in Jambli Naka, said, “Every year, I sell 2,000 decorations during Ganeshotsav. This year, I am not able to sell even 200 decorations. I have eco-friendly makhar made from paper, cardboard, cloth, jute and fibres. But, they do not have a fine finishing like the thermocol ones.”
Thermocol is combustible and also responsible for dumping ground fires which release harmful fumes into the environment.
He said the eco-friendly decorations are costly. “Most people are reluctant to buy after hearing the price. They cost 50 per cent more than thermocol,” Shah said.
Sachin Choudhari, 36, a resident of Kalwa, said, “As eco-friendly decorations in the market are costly, we prefer making our own decorations using simple papers, cardboards, cloth and colours instead of spending on ready-made makhars.”
During festivals, decorations made of thermocol used to be in huge demand. This year will be the first year of celebrations after plastic and thermocol were banned.
First Published: Sep 09, 2018 01:05:29