Government of Rajasthan, Forest department has now banned the carry of plastic disposable items and products in the tiger project, sanctuaries and reserve forest areas in the state. Now tourists traveling in the park will not be able to take any kind of plastic material. Principal Chief Conservator of Forests (PCCF) GV Reddy has issued an order on Monday and banned on such polluting materials with immediate effect. Even if found doing so, there has also been provision for a penalty.
If visitors are found to carry plastic bottles, wafers packets or other such disposable items inside wildlife sanctuaries in Rajasthan, then they will invite penal action. State Government Forest Department has imposed restrictions and penalties on entry / use of plastic consumables and disposable items in all forest areas, tiger reserve and wildlife sanctuaries.
Plastic pollution has been banned in all the sanctuaries of Rajasthan from August 27, 2018, In this order of Forest Department, entry / use of plastic water bottles, bags, wrappers and single-use items in the forest areas has been banned, If anybody is found carrying such plastic material then such offenders will be punished. On Monday, the Principal Chief conservator of forests (PCCF), GV Reddy issued official orders with the effect.
Under the Orders and Wildlife Protection Act, 1972, on being found carrying plastic material during the park visit, the forest department will impose a penalty of Rs 500 on the tourists for the first time. If you do this again, you will be fined Rs 1000 and for the third time the action will be taken under the Wildlife Act. According to the Forest Department notification, a criminal case will be registered after the legal action for those who break the rules for the second time.
One Forest Officer said that this initiative has been initiated as the changing environment is negatively impacting wildlife. To reduce the negative impact on the environment due to plastic, the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC), proposed to organize different programs on theme ‘Beat Plastic Pollution’ this year. In order to discourage the use of plastics in all tiger and wildlife conservation areas, the state government has joined hands with the Center’s initiative positively.
While plastic ban has already been successfully implemented in some forest areas of the state, it will be turmoil in tiger reserves and sanctuaries.
Rahul Bhatnagar, chief conservator of the forests of Udaipur said, “We have imposed a plastic ban on Sajjangarh Biological Park for the last two years. Visitors with plastic bottles of water are pasted with stickers. Apart from this, they have to deposit 10 rupees. The deposit amount is refunded up on return. Apart from this, no food is allowed in the plastic bag inside the park. Visitors are provided a free textile bag. Apart from this, we also have a locker facility, where we ask them to keep plastic stuffs.”
However, there are temples inside them in many forest areas including Sariska Tiger Reserve, Ranthambore National Park and Jhalana Forest Reserve, compliance with these orders will be a challenge for the officers. “As a ritual, a large number of devotees take grain, fruits, bread and other food items in a plastic bag to feed the animals. Most of them are rural and uneducated people. They throw plastic water bottle and bags inside the forest area.
Similarly, during the jungle safari in Ranthambore National Park, tourists carry water bottles, chips, snacks etc. During the park visit, tourists throw empty plastic bottles and wrappers in the park. In this case, the wild animals and tigers who stroll in the park eat them. In such cases, plastic gets accumulated in their stomach and there is adverse effect on the health of wildlife.