SC questions states on delay in pan masala ban

New Delhi, April 3 (IANS) The Supreme Court Wednesday directed 23 states and five union territories to file status report on the implementation of the notification issued by them banning the sale of gutka and pan masala containing tobacco or nicotine.

The apex court bench of Justice G.S. Singhvi an Justice Kurien Joseph also directed the remaining states and union territories to explain the reasons why they had not imposed the ban and the time needed to do so.

The court passed the order after Additional Solicitor General Indira Jaising brought to its notice a circular issued by the union health and family welfare ministry in August 2012 asking the states to ban gutka (tobacco-laced areca nut pieces) and pan masala laced with tobacco and nicotine.

The court directed the listing of the matter after four weeks.

The court also issued notice to the Central Pollution Control Board and the pollution control boards of all the states asking whether they were implementing the Plastic Waste (Management and Handling) Rules, 2011.

The court was told that under the rules it was the responsibility of the municipal authorities to set up collection system for plastic waste.

A note submitted to the court by the board said that as per the latest survey conducted by it in 60 major cities, the municipal solid waste generated is 50,592 tonnes per day out of which plastic waste was 843.2 tonnes.

Describing the situation as alarming, the court said that it was like sitting on a time bomb.

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