THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: When the High Court directed the police to take action against those disposing of waste in public, little did the men in uniform think that they would be landing in a big fix. Now they are caught in a Catch 22 situation over what to do with the material object seized from the violators. With no other options for safe waste disposal available, many cops are forced to dispose of the waste in distant places more clandestinely than the petty violators.
The involvement of the police in checking the issue of litter arose after the High Court issued an order asking the police to register cases against those who throw waste in public places. The Court also had asked the authorities to frame laws to book the offenders.
Following the order, the police sprang into action, but soon came to realise that the issue was not simple as it seemed.
Ajaya Kumar, SI of Nemom police station, who himself supervised the arrest of as many as 15 persons in this connection, said storage of the material object poses a big challenge.
”We usually apprehend the offenders during the wee hours or midnight. We prepare the ‘mahassar’ and take the statement of two people as witness note. The litter is usually disposed of by the offenders on their own. Burying it on their land or burning it somewhere is allowed. Anyway, we can’t take it to the station,” he said.
According to some officers, even disposing the waste by the public in their own land has become a serious issue. They opined that in such a circumstance, it has become difficult for the police to find a dumping place for the seized objects.
Peroorkada police CI V Jayachandran said that police themselves have to get rid of the waste at times. “That is somehow done,” he said.
Another officer in one of the stations in the outskirts of the city secretly admitted that they carefully transport the waste outside their station limits. “What else can we do?” he asked.
At present, the police team and special squad of the City Corporation have intensified their search and surveillance, especially during night time.
While the police register cases against the transgressors, the Corporation levies a fine of up to Rs 2,000.
But the question is, would the police take action against their counterparts for flouting the law, or would they neglect it as an act compelled by circumstances?