BHUBANESWAR: The Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation (BMC) has decided to impose penalty on commercial establishments and domestic households for littering in public. It plans to enforce it from March 1 by invoking the 15-year-old Municipal Waste Disposal Rules (MWDR), 2000.
The decision seems to have stemmed from the paradox that Bhubaneswar, which ranked number one for Smart City project in the country, was nowhere in the list of top 10 clean cities as per the Swachh Sarvekshan. Even as it readies to implement the Smart City proposals, it has now come up with the ‘polluter pays’ formula to overcome the lowly ranking in the cleanliness survey.
As per the MWD Rules, littering will attract penalty between Rs 100 and Rs 5,000 from commercial and domestic households depending on the size of the establishment and volume of solid waste.
BMC Commissioner Dr Krishan Kumar said the corporation is not imposing a penalty per se. “It is an administrative charge since the Corporation does not have the authority to penalise on the grounds of littering. Those who litter will have to pay the removal and transportation cost of garbage from their premises,” he told this paper.
The ambitious plan of BMC, however, has its own set of ambiguities in terms of enforcement. It is still not clear how the enforcement squads would determine the polluter in a particular locality where there are a number of households. Besides, the parameters on which the penalty will be calculated have not been made public yet. This could lead to illegal collection and harassment of the public, citizens said.
While the BMC plans to launch the drive from next month, it is yet to cover many residential localities with its waste disposal and collection system. Dustbins are not installed at many places and wherever available, those are not maintained.