The Second Meeting of the State Level Special Task Force convened to address the urgent issue of single-use plastic eradication was held on August 18 at the Tashiling Secretariat's conference hall, chaired by Chief Secretary Shri V. B Pathak.
The focus of the meeting was to deliberate on strategies for phasing out single-use plastic and to oversee the action plan for implementing the Plastic Waste Management Rules of 2016.
In attendance were key officials including Commissioner-cum-Secretary of the Rural Development Department Shri D. Anandan, Secretary of Urban Development Department Shri M. T Sherpa, Secretary of Commerce and Industries Department Shri Karma R. Bonpo, Secretary of Education Department Smt. Sumita Pradhan, Secretary of Information and Public Relations Department Ms. Karma Doma Youtso, Secretary of Roads and Bridges Department Shri Dorjee Dadul, along with representatives from various line departments.
Chief Secretary Shri V. B Pathak, also the chairman of the Special Task Force, responded to department presentations by urging regular checks to enforce the plastic ban in the state. He highlighted the importance of sharing district-level meeting minutes on the website to track progress in plastic waste management. He also proposed revising penalties for rule violations and enhancing plastic biodegradation processes in both urban and rural areas.
Shri M. T. Sherpa, Secretary of Urban Development Department, highlighted the classification of single-use plastic into three categories during his welcome address: low utility, high potential, and availability of alternatives. He also provided an overview of the plastic waste management (Amendment) Rules, 2021.
Ms. Kusum Gurung, Joint Director of the State Pollution Control Board (SPCB), presented insights into Plastic Waste Management Rules 2016. She discussed the state's initiative to ban plastics and emphasized the department's awareness-raising efforts in plastic waste management. The presentation also included the state's annual report on Plastic Waste Management for 2022-23.
State Mission Director of UDD, Shri Jigmee Wangchuk Bhutia, discussed urban areas' compliance with the Plastic Waste Management Rules, 2016, and the concept of single-use plastic. A detailed report showcased the department's actions and initiatives within urban regions, as well as ongoing efforts and future strategies.
The Rural Development Department also presented its initiatives on Plastic Waste Management. Additionally, the Department of Roads and Bridges was requested to demonstrate a sample section of roads constructed using a bituminous mix containing plastic waste for the construction of service roads.
The meeting included an open discussion session where officials shared their perspectives on the detrimental effects of plastic.
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