THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Cracking the whip on litterbugs, the state government has empowered local bodies to penalise and prosecute those who neglect waste in their property. Now on, it’s the responsibility of the owner of a property to process waste dumped there, even if by others. Furthermore, an office head will be responsible for the litter generated in the office and resident associations will have to ensure segregation of waste at source and keep their premises clean.
The local self-government department has issued a notification empowering civic bodies to enforce the Solid Waste Management Rules, 2018. Now, a health inspector can issue a spot fine of `250 if he or she finds waste being dumped in public or private properties.
In case of private properties, local bodies can issue notices to remove the waste within a stipulated time. If the property owner fails to comply, the civic body can remove it after extracting the cost from the owner. If the holder reufses to pay the amount, an additional penalty of Rs 50 per day can be slapped. If the owner declines to clear the amount within 15 days, prosecution procedure should be initiated.
The local bodies are empowered to seek the help of police to enforce the rules. They can collect fee for waste management, but have responsibility to ensure cleanliness. There are 941 grama panchayats, 87 municipalities and six corporations in the state. Solid waste management continues to be a major problem for them as people continue to dump waste with impunity.
Waste mgmt: New rule to help LSGs enforce the rules
“The new rule will help the local bodies to enforce the rules. There are provisions to help them allocate resources and deploy it. It will also help them to prioritise waste management,” said Jyothish Chandran G, Director (Solid Waste Management), Suchitwa Mission, which recommended the imposition of fines.
The Solid Waste Management Rules, 2015 of the Government of India states that it is the responsibility of the local bodies to provide waste management services in their jurisdiction and collect user fees from individual households and institutions for such services. The Rules also mandate segregation of waste at source.
- Health inspector can issue a spot fine of K250 for dumping waste in public or private properties, buildings
- Penalty for dumping waste in water bodies
- Residents’ association, market association should segregate waste at source
- Large gated communities, hotels should segregate waste and process some of it
- Local bodies can seek police support for enforce-ment, can collect user fee