SHILLONG: The Khasi Hills Autonomous District Council (KHADC) on Tuesday has decided to declare the oldest traditional market in the State and probably across the Northeast — the Iewduh market — as a ‘No Plastic Zone’.
This was taken at a meeting chaired by Executive Member in-charge Trade, Paul Lyngdoh in the presence of Syiem of Hima Myliem, Ainam Manik Syiem, Myntris of Hima Mylliem, Secretary of KHADC, D.G. Syiemiong and officers of the Council which was held here today.
Speaking to reporters after the meeting at his office chamber, Lyngdoh said, “We would immediately declare Iewduh as a no-plastic zone, and we have also decided to take some measures to effectively implement this decision.”
He said that one of the decisions was to encourage the use of leaves as an alternative to plastic. “The use of leaves was very common in the earlier years but with the passage of time it has lost its popularity. We would like to promote the use of leaves in Iewduh market as an alternative to plastic,” Lyngdoh said.
He added that there are other alternatives like paper bags and organic bags which are produced by some companies which they would like to promote.
Meanwhile, Lyngdoh said that the Council would also need to carry out a wide publicity to make people aware about this declaration. “We would be putting up sign boards and notices at various important points of Iewduh to create an awareness among the people to make Iewduh a ‘No Plastic Zone’,” the Executive Member in-charge of Trade said.
He also informed that they would be conducting awareness programme with the Council and authorities of the State Government to help people understand about the ill-effects of plastic to the environment.
When apprised that this is not the first time that there is an attempt to make Iewduh a ‘No Plastic Zone’, he said that the Council and Hima Mylliem need to work in close coordination to ensure that this decision is effectively implemented. “We will not take any decision which could not be implemented,” he added.
He pointed out that the Trade department can also examine on cancelling the trading licenses of people who are encouraging the use of plastic.
According to him, they will also look for the source from where the plastic are coming from. “We would try to ban plastics right from the entry level,” Lyngdoh said.
Further, EM in-charge Trade said that they have also decided to form a committee which will examine on the possibilities of setting up cold storage facility for agriculture produce and other perishable items like meat and fish.
“The committee is also tasked with the responsibilities of identifying the land for setting up of the cold storage facilities. The plot of land can be in or near Iewduh market or in other areas within the vicinity of Iewduh. The cold storage will help to uplift the livelihood of our local people. This will ensure that people are getting fresh vegetables and meat from the market,” Lyngdoh said.
When asked on the funding of this project, he said that at the moment, the idea to set up the cold storage is only a proposal. “If we are planning to go ahead with this proposal then they will be looking to get funding from the Centre. We may look also at the option to go of inviting private players for the project,” Lyngdoh said.