SHILLONG, Aug 10: In an attempt to make the state plastic free, the Meghalaya State Planning Board will soon initiate a 90 day pilot project where it will encourage the people of the state to revert to the use of cloth bags.
‘We will be launching a pilot project for 90 days to encourage the use of cloth bags and traditional food packing with leaves,” MSPB Chairman, Lambor Malngiang said after the board’s meeting that was held here on Friday.
Stating that the step is being taken to make the state ‘plastic free’, he said that the government will also ask traders and shopkeepers to make these cloth bags available for people.
Malngiang said that there will be a nodal department to implement the pilot project in the state capital. “We will concentrate first in Shillong and on seeing the response of the people we will later extended the project to the other districts of the state,” he added.
Informing that the government at the initial stage would provide around 500 to 1000 cloth bags under the project, the board’s chairman said that the matter is also being discussed for availing funding from the World Bank.
Naba Bhattacharjee, a member of the board said that banning the use of plastic is not the solution. According to him, the government has to provide an alternative to the people if it wants to achieve the objective of making the state plastic free.
On the other hand, the chairman of the planning board informed that the meeting also discussed the implementation of the Integrated Basin Development Livelihood Programme (IBDLP).
He said that the board has received reports from some departments which include fisheries and forest adding that reports from soil and conservation department is still being awaited.
“We are on the move to study the reports submitted by the concerned departments,” Malngiang said while informing that after studying, the board will accordingly submit its recommendations to the state government for its consideration.
It may be mentioned here that the state government had earlier asked the MSPB to submit a white paper on the implementation of the IBDLP initiated by the previous government.