Littering likely to prove costly for Indoreans

  • Saeed Khan, Hindustan Times, Indore
  • Updated: Dec 07, 2014 19:17 IST

The next time you carelessly flick that cigarette butt on the street, you could be burning a hole in your pocket.

The Indore Municipal Corporation (IMC) is preparing to petition the government to permit spot fines on litterers.

"The draft proposal is ready and we will forward it to Bhopal for approval shortly," said municipal commissioner Rakesh Singh.

The proposal calls for imposing fines on litterers and "penal action" against repeat offenders, those who are booked for littering thrice.

Pointing out that littering was prohibited under the Municipal Solid Wastes (Management and Handling) Rules, 2000, Singh said the existing system made it difficult to crack down on offenders.

"Shopkeepers in the central business district sweep the storefront every day and dump garbage right there on the road. If our men see someone littering, they have to prepare a panchnama, arrange for a videographer to record the scene. It's a lengthy process," Singh pointed out.

"Officials of the level of CSI (chief sanitary inspector) or above should have the power to impose spot fines on litterers after a summary trial. Penal action can be initiated against repeat offenders," he added.

Singh cited challans issued by traffic police to buttress his point. "They issue a challan and if the fine isn't paid, the money is recovered in court."

Although the Corporation has repeatedly claimed a steady increase in collection of solid waste, mounds of garbage continue to sprout across the city - call it the stinking conundrum.

Incidentally, this isn't the first time the civic body is trying to take the penal route against those who dirty their surroundings. The IMC had planned to use a little known piece of legislation that calls for punishing people who dump environmentally harmful material on the roads with a prison term and/or a fine in 2011.

"People who throw polythene bags etc will be booked under section 7 of the Non Bio-degradable Material Act, 2004 which mandates a month's imprisonment and Rs 1,000 fine for offenders," said then municipal commissioner Yogendra Sharma, a trained lawyer.

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