The National Green Tribunal (NGT) reiterated its 2015 order banning the use, sale, manufacturing and storage of plastic items in the pilgrimage towns of Haridwar and Rishikesh. The tribunal ordered a fine of Rs 5,000 on the
violators. The ban has been imposed on plastic items used in any form such as polybags, and items used for serving or packing food.
In July and December 2015, the Bench headed by NGT chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar had expressed displeasure at the pathetic state of affairs on the banks of the Ganga and had reprimanded the civic authorities. The National Green Tribunal then passed a slew of orders to make the river pollution-free. However, the use of plastic items continued. The National Green Tribunal’s earlier directions were also aimed at making the Ganga pollution-free, thereby allowing devotees to take a dip and collect clean water from the river.