From 2022, not separating household waste will invite fines in east Delhi
From next year, residents of east Delhi will have to pay a penalty if they do not segregate their household waste into the three mandated categories of non-biodegradable (dry waste), biodegradable (wet waste) and domestic hazardous waste. For commercial institutions, however, the penalties for the same will start from November 1, 2021, said an order by the East Delhi Municipal Corporation (EDMC) on Tuesday.
According to civic officials, the penalty ranges from ₹200 (for individual households) to ₹10,000 (for gated communities) and ₹20,000 (for market associations). The penalties will be imposed by the civic body under the Solid Waste Management (SWM) Rules, 2016, and the by-laws under its jurisdiction.
As per the order, commercial outlets such as marriage halls, party lawns, banquet halls, exhibition and fares, with area less than 5000 square metres (sqm), the penalty will be ₹10,000. For cinema halls, pubs, community halls with an area less than 5000 sqm, the fine shall be ₹5,000. For hotels, the penalty will be ₹50,000 and for restaurants, it will be ₹20,000.
“A month’s time will be given to all categories of establishments, including residential, to comply with the rules. Door to door collection of waste has already been started in the area. We have been carrying out awareness drives for the same. Also, we have been holding meetings with the stakeholders, including resident bodies and market associations, to make them aware of the significance of segregating waste and opting for different alternatives such as composting of wet waste to reduce the overall waste generated,” said a senior corporation official, who asked not to be named.
The order, dated September 21, stated: “Mandatory segregation of solid waste at source will come into implementation --- for commercial, industrial, institutional and non- residential premises -- from October 2 while for residential premises it will start from December 1 this year. The levying of penalty on defaulters in the commercial category will start from November 1 this year while for residential category; it will begin from January 1, 2022.”
As per the SWM Rules, it is necessary for all waste generators to segregate and store solid waste in three categories --- non-biodegradable or dry waste; biodegradable or wet waste and domestic hazardous waste. Those not complying with the rules are liable for levying fines/penalties.
“The penalties vary for different categories. For instance, for individual households, the amount of waste generated is less and hence the penalty levied is lesser. In the case of group housing societies and market associations, which are bulk waste generators, the penalties will be much higher,” the official quoted above said.
EDMC mayor Shyam Sunder Aggarwal, however, said he has not seen the order yet and that he is not in favour of the decision. “I have yet to see the order. We need to educate people and make them aware of how they can segregate waste and provide different alternatives for the same before we can think of levying penalties. There are a number of resettlement colonies and other such areas where people need to be provided with a mechanism to segregate waste,” he said.
Resident associations in east Delhi, too, are against the civic body’s decision of levying penalty without providing a framework.
“We are ready to segregate waste and are doing it even now. However, there is no point doing it till the waste is also collected in a segregated manner. So far, the waste collector dumps the entire waste in the same vehicle without segregating it. So the civic body has to first ready its own mechanism for segregation before penalising people,” said Shivaji Samaddar, president, Samachar group housing society, Mayur Vihar Phase-I.
BS Vohra, president, East Delhi RWAs Federation, said imposing a penalty is just not right. “The civic body is ready to levy fines on people without even holding a discussion with the residents. They first need to provide adequate services. When there is waterlogging in the streets and potholes, there is no penalty imposed on the civic body for inconveniencing residents,” said Vohra.
So far, EDMC is the first municipal corporation to issue an order to this effect. The south and north corporations have not imposed any penalties for non-segregation of waste. While the South corporation had last year started levying user charges for collection and transportation of waste and even issued notices to households for not complying with the segregation, the order was withdrawn after resident groups opposed it.
The east corporation had started levying user charges on commercial institutions from this July while residences are still exempted from it.