Wednesday, February 23, 2005

BCC Plans Anti-Litter Law To Make Bangalore Clean

Dumpers, don’t junk this move
BCC Plans Anti-Litter Law To Make Bangalore Clean
The Times of India

Bangalore: Don’t arc that cigarette butt on to the road. Or arbitrarily drop plastic bags, ice cream cups, chocolate wrappers, straws, bottle caps, bus tickets, what not: In short, don’t treat our roads as a trash can.

This is not just the usual empty plea ignored by all. The Bangalore City Corporation is contemplating an anti-litter law to turn the ‘garbage city’ into clean city. The law will pinch where it hurts: It will empty your pocket by Rs 100 every time you dump things. Health inspectors will police the roads on rotation and it’s unlikely you will go scot-free.

BCC chief health officer Dr Nagarbet told The Times of India that the aim is to keep the city clean as far as possible. “In Bangalore, there is no control over public littering and we want to bring in a law through which this can be controlled.’’ The work has begun, albeit in a “micro’’ manner. If a hotel dumps the litter it has spawned, BCC imposes a penalty, but bills it as administrative charges. “We can’t call it a fine because this is not yet an Act,” Dr Nagarbet stated.

The law may take its own course. The logistics are still being worked out, after which the proposal has to be cleared by the urban development ministry and then passed by the legislature before it comes into effect. But the spadework has begun: health inspectors have started identifying the good, the bad and the ugly areas. Surprise checks are already on.

Still, hitches abound: mayor R. Narayanaswamy has expressed doubts on the law’s strike capabilities. “It will take about two months to put it in place. Our people are not sensitive enough to know it’s their own city they are denigrating. I wonder if it works here the way it did in Singapore and America.’’


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