Koyambedu traders to promote use of cloth bags, govt. tells HC

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Tamil Nadu Environment Secretary Supriya Sahu has told Madras High Court that traders in one of Asia’s largest vegetables and fruits markets at Koyambedu in the city have been asked to shed the use of plastic bags and encourage their customers to carry traditional yellow cloth bags, better known as manjapai.

Appearing before a Division Bench of Justices S. Vaidyanathan and P.T. Asha, who were seized of a case related to the ban on plastics, the Secretary said Corporation Commissioner Gagandeep Singh Bedi had undertaken awareness campaigns in Koyambedu market on October 2.

Traders had also promised to stop using disposable plastic bags. Listing out other measures being taken by the State government to discourage the use of plastic products, the Secretary said a steering committee had been put in place to monitor progress and that considerable change could be seen in next three months. Appreciating the Secretary for having made an elaborate presentation before the court, the judges said Chief Minister M.K. Stalin could also do his bit towards plastic eradication campaign when the government puts out awareness videos on television channels and other media.

When one of the counsels brought it to the notice of the judges that banning plastics in the State alone would not be sufficient since food items packed in plastic sachets come here from other States too, the judges sought to know steps taken by the Centre to discourage the use of plastics.

Taking note that Prime Minister Narendra Modi had chaired a meeting titled PRAGATI (Pro Active Governance and Timely Implementation) on February 24, the judges wanted to know the outcome of the meet. Since there was no representation on behalf of the Centre in any of the hearings, the judges ordered that Additional Solicitor General R. Sankaranarayanan be informed about it when the case gets listed next on November 3.