Locking horns with the Mysuru City Corporation over the plastic ban, hotel owners in the in the city have decided to stage a mass protest on May 31 against what they called harassment meted out to them by the civic authorities.
At a press conference held on Friday, hotel owners set a deadline of 10 days to the MCC authorities to provide alternatives to plastic and stop harassing them in the name of ban.
“We are being harassed by the MCC for no fault of ours. Of course, the MCC is right in banning plastic. But they should not harass us. We are giving them a deadline of 10 days to provide alternative. If the harassment does not stop, we will be forced to stage a protest on May 31 and will even approach the court for relief,” said C Narayanagowda, the president Mysuru Hotel Owners Association.
“If our demands are not met by May 31, the entire hotel industry will observe a bandh and the date will be decided later,” he added.
“We support the decision of the government and the MCC to ban plastic as it is hazardous to the environment. However, the government should find an alternative as it has become a difficult task to deal with consumers in a day-to-day basis.”
“Officials and MCC staff come in Abhaya vehicles and seize whatever plastic available in our premises. This is just harassment. As per the government gazette notification, packed food products are exempted from the ban. But unfortunately here, even packed food products are being seized,” he alleged.
As per the government notification, only plastic bags, plates, cups and spoons have been banned. “We are from the industry that pays the highest tax and still we are being harassed without providing an alternative. We have already started using wooden spoons though it is expensive,” he said.
“Departments including forest, fisheries, milk federation, and nursery are exempted from the ban as there are no alternatives. While these departments are exempted from the ban, why are we singled out and targeted,” he questioned.
Narayanagowda further said that they had brought the issue to the notice of the Mayor and the MCC Commissioner “The response we got from them is poor and they acted as if they do not know about the raids conducted by Abhaya teams. This is bad and we feel that we are being unnecessarily targeted,” he said.
“Almost 900 products which are used in hotel business have no alternatives. We urge the authorities to meet our demands by providing alternatives,” he demanded.
Hotel Owners Association Vice President Anil Kumar C, Hotel Owners Association Charitable Trust President Ravishasthri and Honorary Secretary Subramanya R Thanthri were present.