The Chattogram City Corporation (CCC) has declared three major markets in the port city polythene-free.
City Mayor Rezaur Karim Chowdhury inaugurated the program on Monday, with the decision coming into effect from 1 December. The three markets are – Chawkbazar, Kazir Dewri and Karnaphuli markets.
Panel Mayor Councilor Gias Uddin told TBS, "The drains, canals and rivers are filling up due to the dumping of used polythene. This causes waterlogging in the city during monsoon."
He added that throughout the next month the CCC will provide tissue bags and net bags as an alternative to polythene in the three markets.
CCC Secretary Khaled Mahmud said that its officials have been holding meetings with business leaders of the markets over the last few months. Everyone has agreed to stop the use of polythene and if any trader is found using it after Wednesday, then the CCC's mobile court will take actions against them.
According to CCC sources, two security guards will be deployed in each market to ensure the polythene-free directive.
Furthermore, volunteers from Better Future Bangladesh, Volunteers for Bangladesh and Cyclone Preparedness Program-CPP will assist the CCC in this regard. The volunteers will visit the markets for the next ten days to alert buyers and sellers of the new directive and monitor whether polythene is being used.
Monthly awareness programmes, using loudspeakers, banners and festoons, will be held.
In addition, regular mobile courts will be conducted.
Ward councillors of the wards under which the markets are will also monitor the situation round the clock.
The Environmental Protection Act prohibits the production and marketing of polythene. Anyone who produces polythene can be fined Tk10 lakh or be sentenced to 10 years in prison, or both. Anyone who markets polythene can be given a fine of Tk10,000 or be sentenced to six months in jail.