New Delhi: The National Green Tribunal (NGT) has directed the Election Commission, the Centre and the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) to convene a meeting to consider whether to ban the use of campaigning material made of plastic during elections. A bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel directed the Election Commission, Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEF&CC) and CPCB to convene a meeting at the earliest, preferably within one week.
The green tribunal passed the directions on a petition seeking a direction to the MoEF & CC and the states to prohibit the use of short-life PVC (polyvinyl chloride), synthetic plastic polymer and chlorinated plastic which includes banners, hoarding, among others for promotion and advertising during the poll campaign.
The petition, moved by W Edwin Wilson through advocate Sanjay Upadhyay, claimed that campaigning material made of plastic are used during elections and later discarded as waste, which was detrimental to the environment.
The petition also claimed that a letter was sent to the Secretary, MoEF&CC, seeking directions to all state governments and the Election Commission for imposing complete prohibition of PVC hoarding/ banners/flexes by implementing and complying with the environmental norms, but no response was received. The bench said,
In view of the above that while it may not be necessary for the tribunal to go into the merits at this stage, the matter may first be considered in a joint meeting of representatives of Election Commission, MoEF&CC and CPCB at the earliest, preferably within one week, in such manner as may be found viable. The CPCB will be the nodal agency for compliance and coordination. A copy of this order be sent to CPCB by e-mail. The application is disposed of.
NDTV – Dettol Banega Swachh India campaign lends support to the Government of India’s Swachh Bharat Mission (SBM). Helmed by Campaign Ambassador Amitabh Bachchan, the campaign aims to spread awareness about hygiene and sanitation, the importance of building toilets and making India open defecation free (ODF) by October 2019, a target set by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, when he launched Swachh Bharat Abhiyan in 2014. Over the years, the campaign has widened its scope to cover issues like air pollution, waste management, plastic ban, manual scavenging and menstrual hygiene. The campaign has also focused extensively on marine pollution, clean Ganga Project and rejuvenation of Yamuna, two of India’s major river bodies.