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Firhad Hakim

Fine for littering public places

Mayor Firhad Hakim asks CMC to implement provisions

Subhajoy Roy | Published 06.11.22, 03:58 AM
Firhad Hakim

Firhad Hakim

Mayor Firhad Hakim has asked the CMC’s solid waste management department to impose fines on people who are littering public places.

Hakim said there were provisions in the law to impose penalties but these were never implemented.

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Any individual who is found throwing waste in public places has to pay Rs 500. A repeat offender has to pay Rs 700 and Rs 1,000 for the second and third time they are caught in the act. 

The Solid Waste Management Bylaws prepared by the Calcutta Municipal Corporation (CMC) came into effect in 2020.

One of the reasons cited repeatedly by the CMC for the large numbers of dengue infections in the city is the habit of people throwing waste anywhere.

The waste, when thrown in vacant unused plots, stays there for months and years. Any container like tea cups, earthen pots, shells of discarded tender coconut can turn into breeding spots for Aedes aegypti mosquito when rainwater collects in these containers and remain there for seven days or more. Aedes aegypti mosquitoes are the primary transmitters of the dengue virus. 

“I have asked the chief engineer to impose fines on those littering roads and public places. Some people throw waste anywhere they feel. There are provisions in the law that allow the imposition of fines, but they have not been implemented,” said Hakim. “We can take these people to courts where they have to pay the fine,” Hakim added.

The Solid Waste Management Bylaws mention that an individual has to pay Rs 500 for throwing waste in “open/ vacant land, gardens, playground, public streets, roads, traffic islands, in a dustbin/ vehicle not intended for the removal of the same from moving/parked vehicles”. 

Officials said they were gearing up to impose the fines now that the mayor wants action.

“Select officials of the CMC have been given powers to impose spot fines. Anyone who is seen littering a public place can be fined at the spot like the police issues spot fines for traffic rule violations,” added the official. 

The CMC has penalised some people who were caught burning waste after the 2020 bylaws were framed, which is prohibited and the penalty for which has been quantified in the bylaws. But rarely has anyone been fined for littering public places. 

Back in the mid-90s, the CMC used to collect Rs 50 as a spot fine from people littering public places, but someone challenged it and went to court, said the official.

Since there was no provision under law at that time to impose the fine, the action was put on hold and never revived again, said the CMC official. 

Last updated on 06.11.22, 03:58 AM
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