Solid waste bye-laws:Will PMC be able to enforce fines or just collect user charges?
The PMC had framed the bye-laws to define various offences. The citizens who are violating the norms would be fined. For the first time, PMC has framed the terms of the violations and fixed specific fines which citizens will need to pay. It will be collected by PMC officials.pune Updated: Jan 18, 2018 14:56 IST
Though the general body of the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) has given the nod to the public health and sanitation bye-laws 2017, the question remains whether the municipal administration would be able to execute the various fines instituted for violations or it would be toothless and only collect user charges. User charges are compulsory for the citizens for borrowing additional service from the PMC.
The PMC had framed the bye-laws to define various offences. The citizens who are violating the norms would be fined. For the first time, PMC has framed the terms of the violations and fixed specific fines which citizens will need to pay. It will be collected by PMC officials. The municipal corporation has proposed fines for various nuisances such as letting dogs poop on the roads, spitting in public places, urinating in non-designated places and throwing trash from a moving car. Under this, fines have been proposed for feeding animals at public places, burning garbage and hawkers littering. Fine has also been proposed if municipal employees fail to keep the city clean. Previously, PMC had not been able to execute such a policy efficiently even though it is empowered to take action against the defaulters.
PMC has not been able to strictly implement fine on citizens for various violations uptill now. For example, PMC hasn’t been able to fine people responsible for dumping debris in the riverbed or those who put up illegal flexes and banners in the city.
As per the Supreme Court’s instruction, it is mandatory to do garbage segregation at source. Though it is mandatory for citizens to do garbage segregation at home and some civic activists like Maj Gen (Retd) SCN Jatar and National Society for Clean Cities are aggressively pursing it, the PMC has not been able to make it mandatory. Considering this, there is a growing worry that although the civic administration is empowered to enforce the proposed fines as per the new bye-laws, the administration would not be able to execute it.
Opposition party leader Chetan Tupe accepted that the discussion on bye-laws only remained on the user charges. There is no proper thought about how the PMC will be executing the policy, he added.
Standing committee chairman Murlidhar Mohol, said, “To make the city clean, there is a need to take tough decisions. Approving the bye-laws is a step in this direction. The PMC’s approach is to spread awareness but despite lots of efforts if some people do not co-operate, then there is a need to enforce fines on them.”
Mayor Mukta Tilak also said that a committee has been appointed under the chairmanship of the mayor for the revision of the fine amount. The committee will revise the fine amount for each violation from time to time.
Solid waste management department head Suresh Jagtap said that the PMC has nuisance detection squads at each ward office level and with their help, the civic body catch violation of bye-laws and collect the fines. He also accepted that in the beginning preference would be given to creating awareness and warning rather than strict implementation of fines.