The Times of India
Question of the week
The BCC plans to introduce an anti-littering law. How can it ensure that Bangaloreans obey this law?
Offenders should be fined heavily
Awareness should be created by the enforcing agency and the merits of the law and its impact on daily life should be explained through posters and the media. It should be backed by stringent punishment.
Setty Gowda, Palace Guttahalli, Bangalore
Involve resident welfare associations in the enforcement process.
M.N. Kesari, Vijaynagar, Bangalore
Introduction of law is easy but how far it will be put in practice remains to be seen. Collect heavy fines from violators.
Vimala Kesari, Vijaynagar, Bangalore
There should be surprise visits by BCC officials and garbage collection should be streamlined. Garbage trucks often distribute the garbage all over the place.
Asfia Kamaluddin, BTM II Stage, Bangalore
Impose fines on people who litter. Educate housewives with a door-to-door campaign and crack down on spitting in public.
Leina Malhotra, Indiranagar, Bangalore
Sensitise people through handbill and strategically placed hoardings. Award clean areas on a wardwise basis. Litter-free areas will help bring down the stray dog population.
R. Gururao, BSK II Stage, Bangalore
The BCC plan is indeed noble but Bangalore is no Singapore. In a city where almost roadside bin is overflowing with uncleared garbage, it’s extremely doubtful whether the authorities will be successful in implementation. Love for one’s city and the need to keep it clean must come from within. Will the BCC be able to awaken the collective conscience of the citizens?
Usha G. Rao, BSK III Stage, Bangalore
Let it first introduce the law. In any case, a litter-free attitude must come from within. Introduce fines and ensure strict monitoring.
Om Shiva, Indiranagar, Bangalore
First, crack down on those who defile public places by urinating in public. It’s impossible for the BCC to implement this law unless it educates the citizens on the importance of civic sense through an intensive media campaign. Imposing fines may help but these penalties should not result in the harassment of people.
S. Sundara, R.R. Nagar, Bangalore
It should be implemented in phases at bus-stands and railway stations otherwise it’ll be the biggest joke of 2005. People are hard to change. Until their mindset changes, we can’t expect miracles. Educate people about cleanliness and hygiene.
Norbert Brown, N.R. Mohalla, Mysore
The enforcement officers should be upright. The law will be implemented best when it hurts people the most — their purses become lighter!
Madan Singh Rawat, City Market, Bangalore
Enacting a law is easy but without citizen participation it’s very difficult to ensure cleanliness. Provide garbage bins at more places. Involve school children, NGOs and use the media to educate people.
Naharmal Mandoth, Chickpet, Bangalore
i) Utilise the services of the 650 Suchi Mitras (registered volunteers under the BATF-BCC initiative); ii) Fines collected must be used for aesthetically designed garbage bins to avoid the NIMFY (Not In My Front Yard) syndrome; iii) Door-todoor garbage collection should be twice a day.
M. Vasanth Kumar, Rajajinagar, Bangalore
The law should also include the implementation process clearly indicating the duties and responsibilities of the citizens and the BCC. There should be a code of ethics, discipline and civic sense. Dereliction of duty and non-implementation of the Act should invite deterrents.
K. Chandrashekar, Kuvempunagar, Mysore
People should be made to realise why this law is being implemented. Littering should be strictly monitored.
Anil Nair, Infantry Road, Bangalore
BCC health officials should implement this law. They should start with kalyan mantaps, hotels, bus & train termini and later shift their attention to homes. Encourage voluntary organisations in this effort. Disciplinary action should be taken against offenders and heavy fines imposed. Without self-discipline, no law can help.
Jagadish Kalmath, Yelahanka
The BCC’s plans to introduce the anti-littering law is welcome but execution will be a priority. i) There should be adequate means to dispose of the litter and trash cans should be available at all place; ii) BCC should also plan for proper people awareness before considering fines; iii) Start small. Let the law be strict only in some areas i.e. on the same lines as zero tolerance zones. Learn from this experience and move ahead with improved plans to other areas.
Anuj Magazine, recd via email
Polythene bags are here to stay and form a very high percentage of litter. Their collection is difficult and of little value since volume to weight ratio is high. And they get blown about easily. The last feature could be tackled by having spikes (like the wire hooks used to collect bills in the old days) placed conveniently, so that used bags can be skewered onto them. They will remain in place till collected. This new habit will also have to be enforced by citizens as well as official watch-dogs.
I. Iyengar, recd via email
The antilittering law can be implemented only after a sustained campaign to provide enough dustbins or garbage disposal means conveniently to all citizens with easy access. Laws only fall into place and are obeyed if there is a wider social consensus. This consensus needs to be created after providing the means to everybody to be good citizens and after an effective information campaign winning over the citizenry. I do not think these conditions have been achieved as yet. Another strategy would be to begin with smaller zones of no littering like M.G. Road and Brigade Road and to focus on richer areas like Koramangala and Indiranagar before gradually spreading to the entire city. The enforcement should only be through BCC employees to begin with and subsequently through designated wardens with proper badges, identification and receipts for fines or ‘administrative charges’ to be levied. These charges too should not be outrageously high but somewhere around Rs 10 or Rs 20, enough to hurt but not enough to make one angry. Policng should be the last resort after persuasion and publicity.
H. Vishwanath, urban planner