(G.N.S) Dt. 17
But printers say it is ‘highly unfair’ and a blanket ban would render lakhs jobless
In a significant observation that may put the brakes on Bengaluru’s biggest eyesores – plastic banners and flex – the High Court has said that prima facie, the ban on plastic includes ban on the manufacture, supply and sale of such banners, buntings and flex. The court, back in 2016, had upheld the validity on the notification by the state government banning manufacture and sale of plastic bags and other products. Subsequently, the BBMP had issued a circular under the notification, specifying penalties for the same. The implementation of the ban was largely restricted to plastic carry bags in retail shops.
On Tuesday, the BBMP Commissioner confirmed that all flex printing units in the city will have to shut shop, and it was already working on doing this. In December 2017, the BBMP had ordered a flex manufacturer, Ms 360 Degree Prints Pvt Ltd in Nagasandra, to shut its flex printing operations “as it causes animal and public health concerns and damages the beauty of Bengaluru city”.
The business concern approached the HC against this direction. The BBMP, however, submitted to the court that the firm did not even “have a trade licence to manufacture and sell the aforesaid products, including printing of flex sheets”.
The HC said that the notice for shutting down the business “cannot be said to be illegal or without jurisdiction and it is for the petitioner to satisfy the said authorities that the business activity carried out by it is not hit by the” state government notification and BBMP circular of 2016. It has to prove that it can carry out the printing of flex by obtaining a licence. The BBMP was directed to pass an order as per law within two weeks of the firm making its case before it on January 8.
On Tuesday, BBMP Chief N Manjunatha Prasad told Media: “We have issued notices to flex manufacturers in the city. We have also shut down many units. The material used in flex us hazardous to the environment and, so, we have decided to shut all flex and hoardings manufacturing units in the city. I have already asked Joint Commissioners to take action and I will seek a report on this matter.” Meanwhile Mayor R Sampath Raj who had announced the anti-flex drive in the city said the Palike is on it. “We have been conducting drives every day. Today [Tuesday], too conducted drives at MG Road, Brigade Road, Fraser Town and other areas. This menace will come down in the city,” he promised.
(G.N.S) Dt. 17