Sunday, June 23, 2024

Other side of plastic ban


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The current drive by the Hon’ble minister for urban affairs against plastic carry bags, while laudable, is not going to rid Shillong of the plastic menace. The ban against plastic carry bags is a selective one on only one type of plastic product. We live in a plastic world. The invention of plastics has generally been a blessing to the world. We cannot imagine a world without plastics. Almost every product from cars to the ubiquitous water bottle uses plastics because of convenience.

Several cities in the world have tried and failed to ban the use of plastics and Shillong will be no different in spite of the minister’s good intentions. As I said, carry bags are just one product and they account for no more than 10% of the plastics that are used on a daily basis. The minister needs only to step into any grocery store in town to realise that executive orders should be well thought out before being issued. Every product in a grocery store from the milk pouches to chips, chocolates, rice, pulses, etc. (in fact one can go on naming products wrapped or packed in plastics) are plastic packed. All these products come from outside the state, and their packaging is outside the control of the government. After bringing home and consuming the products, the plastic wrappings are discarded. They make up 90% of the plastic litter that plagues our environment.

Instead of wasting time, money and manpower to chase down some hapless sellers/ users of plastic carry bags, it would be in the long term interest and more sustainable if the government would focus and direct its energy instead on educating the masses how to safely dispose of all plastic products ( not just the carry bags) in an environmentally friendly way. All over India a difference has been noticed on the use of firecrackers during Diwali in the last few years, because the environmentalists have directed their focus on educating the school children who then emerge as a powerful pressure group on their parents and families. This same technique can be adopted in the case of plastics. School children should be educated on the safe handling and disposal of plastics without hurting the environment, and they will in turn educate their families. Of course teachers should first be sensitised and enlisted to take up this task on a mission mode.

Yours etc.,

Wesline Shympliang,

Via email

 Oh the tinted glasses!


Mr DGP we really appreciate your showmanship in trying to prove a point that you are doing some work by trying to sideline the main issues of crime, theft, traffic jams. Removing tinted glasses is a cheap publicity stunt. I am amused by the quick fix solutions proposed by our rulers. There are many reasons why people have tinted glasses. Women drivers have no option but to drive their own vehicles thanks to the polite taxi drivers and the state of the art public transport in the State. Secondly, day- light robbery of valuables from cars from the parking lots or when parked on the road side makes tinted glasses imperative. Lastly, long hauls on the highway thanks to the perennial traffic jams caused by trucks necessitate use of tinted glasses. Can u imagine what can happen if we are sandwiched on the highway with vulnerable people in the car? Can the DGP assure the public that there is not going to be any highway robbery or any form of abuse by dangerous elements known for their indecent behaviour? Can we also get an assurance that women drivers would be safe? If so, please go ahead and remove our tinted glasses. If not, please look for a more feasible solution. I wonder why the larger interests of the public always have to suffer because of a handful that misuse tinted glasses? Why not put a strict rule in place and punish those who violate the law instead? Last but not the least if we can have a debate on whether or not to have the Autumn fest on a Sunday, why not another Public Debate on this issue of tinted glasses. But PRESS Club, public debates only on a Saturday please! We are ready! We invite the DGP to the public debate to sort this issue out

Yours etc.,

N .Lyngdoh,




Despite the much hyped order given on prohibition of the use of tinted glass on cars (irrespective of caste and creed), it is shameful to see only a few adhering to the “new law”. A day after the Dec 1 deadline, the new law is put on hold by none other than our Government. But my question is why does our state government have to wait for the deadline to pass to make any decision?

To which authority should we listen? What about those who have removed the tint for fear of harassment? Should not the District Transport Office have any say on this issue so as to clear all doubts of the people?

Yours etc.,

Name withheld on request


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