Shimla: In order to preserve the sanity of public places, especially the Mall Road and other historical places in the state, the Himachal Pradesh government has decided to impose penalty on throwing ‘gutka’ wrappers at any public place. Chief Minister Prem Kumar Dhumal, who was addressing a NGO function here today, announced that from today onwards, a complete ban on throwing ‘gutka’ sachets at public places was being imposed and violators would be penalized for defying it. He said all deputy commissioners have been directed to follow the direction and also comply with earlier order for banning smoking in public place effectively.
“Gutka sachets are also a major source of pollution. Its scientific disposal by the local bodies would help control its menace,” Dhumal said while launching the second phase of state-level ‘Polythene Hatao, Paryavaran Bachao (remove polythene, save environment)’ campaign. “If there is a need, the government would even bring an ordinance to impose strict ban on the sachets,” the CM said. On World Earth Day, Dhumal also instituted ‘Green Awards’ for both print and electronic journalists. “Every year ‘Green Awards’ would be given for the best story on environment,” he added. Himachal Pradesh imposed a ban on October 2, 2009, on production, storage, use, sale and distribution of all types of polythene bags made from non-biodegradable materials. During the first ‘remove polythene’ campaign carried out across the state in December last year, about 1,381 quintals of waste was collected.