KOCHI: The district administration is planning to launch an exclusive project to act tough against illegal waste dumping in backwaters. District Collector S Suhas announced the new move after The New Indian Express carried a photograph on Thursday showing a person dumping waste in the backwaters.
The photograph appeared with the caption, ‘Trashing Rule of Law: A man dumping waste in the Vembanad backwaters at Thevara in Kochi’. Despite the state government’s directive to levy a fine of `2 lakh for dumping waste into water bodies and the offence itself punishable with a jail term of up to three years, nothing seems to have deterred city residents from dumping waste into water bodies.
“The photograph which appeared in the newspaper made me really sad. An instruction has been sent to the authorities concerned to take stringent action against dumping of waste in water bodies. Strict legal action will be initiated without any bias,” said the Collector while sharing the grab of the picture on his official Facebook page.
He said a project would be conceived to act against illegal waste dumping in water bodies. “Let’s learn to love nature,” said the Collector on his Facebook page.It is learnt the District Collector issued a direction to the Police Department to seize the vehicle used for dumping garbage in the water body. Based on the direction, the police have launched a search.
The Facebook post which went viral triggered a host of discussions on the garbage menace. Advocate Harish Vasudevan Sreedevi asked what action would the district administration take against those who dump waste.
“None of the former District Collectors filed any charge sheet under Environment Protection (EP) Act before the Magistrate Court, till date. Only District Collectors and Additional District Magistrates are empowered to do it under EP Act. Please do file one complaint under EP Act against one violator. Then people will appreciate you,” he said.
Akhilraj V Dharmajan said, “Great effort. But implementing proper waste disposal methods is the first step to avoid such a situation. Collect monthly charges from those who have more waste to process. Keep going, all the very best.”
Bhuvana Gopalakrishnan, a Kochi resident, said no residents’ association is active to address the issue of waste management. “Sir, we appreciate your efforts. But please let us know of some effective ways to dispose of garbage. I live in a commercial space and unfortunately, there is no residents’ association which is active to address waste disposal/management,” she commented on the Collector’s post.