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January 21, 2021

Huge quantity of polythene bags seized


January 21, 2021

PESHAWAR: The district administration in an action on Wednesday seized a huge quantity of polythene bags and other plastic products and arrested eight shopkeepers from the wholesale market on the Ashraf Road.

The officials raided the market on the Ashraf Road near the Chowk Yadgar and took into possession 8000kg bags.

A communication from the district administration said eight shopkeepers were arrested and 32 shops sealed in the presence of a heavy contingent of police.

The raid was conducted on the directives of deputy commissioner. The anti-polythene drive was carried out in various other localities of the metropolis as well.

The district administration said the KP government had banned the sale and use of plastic bags that included both the biodegradable and non-biodegradable fabric. It claimed the University Road and Hayatabad had become polythene-free zones.

The deputy commissioner asked the traders and shopkeepers to abandon the use and sale of plastic products as these posed a hazard to the environment and carried the health risks.

He resolved to continue the drive against the use of plastic bags and directed the administrative officials to carry out actions on a daily basis in respective areas.

Meanwhile, the trader community representative Malik Mehr Elahi, said the use of force would not solve the issue but instead affect the businesses.

He said the traders were ready to cooperate with the government but the government should also take them into confidence before taking any decision that affects them.

Malik Mehr Elahi said the government claim that polythene bags had been banned in Islamabad was not true as these were available there.

He said every issue was resolved after the parties started negotiations. He urged the Chief Secretary Kazim Niaz to hold a meeting with traders on the issue and listen to their problems before ordering a unilateral action.

Malik Mehr Ilahi added the government had directed the shopkeepers to use the bags made of fabric. However, he said those bags were purchased by the shopkeepers for Rs6 per piece while they were being forced to charge the consumers Rs5 for the bag which was an injustice.

He urged the government to first make arrangements for an alternative to these bags and then take action against the violators.

The trade leader said shopkeepers had printed bags worth hundreds of thousands of rupees and they could not just throw away those products.

He alleged that bags were being smuggled into Pakistan from a neighbouring country but the government had failed to take any action against the people responsible for the smuggling.

Malik Mehr Ilahi warned that the action without making alternative arrangements would bring the commercial activities to a halt in the province where businesses had already suffered huge losses in the last few years.

He said no shop was sealed during the raid on the Ashraf Road, adding the shopkeepers arrested were released later.