Saturday, December 29, 2007

Towards a clean, green City

Towards a clean, green City
S Lalitha
If you indulge in any kind of pilfering, you will be fined amounts ranging between Rs 100 and Rs 500-green boards in leading parks in the City spell out these words loud and clear.

But this hardly acts as a deterrent to any would-be pilferer. The reasons are not far to seek: a woeful lack of enforcement.

With the BBMP having a slew of plans up its sleeve for a cleaner Bengalooru next year, which includes appointment of litter cops at main thoroughfares to keep a tab on public behaviour, Metrolife checked out with the commoner as well as those in the know of things whether disciplinary measures could usher in a cleaner City.

Principal secretary, Rural and Panchayat Raj department, Jeyaraj, who has served two spells as BBMP Commissioner, says, “Theoretically, the efforts to bring about a cleaner city is a very good thing. Enforcement is going to a be a major issue particularly as we do not have enough manpower. So, I believe a litter-free City has to come from the self-volition of Bangaloreans.

“It might end up with complaints of harassment from the public. Again, contracting the job to an agency will result in a parallel power centre and the concerned individual will take a decision on whom it wants to impose any fine.”
Convenor of Cubbon Park Mitra Sangha C K Narendranath feels the waking up of civic authorities is welcome.

“However, it is very important that before enforcing anything, the infrastructure is clearly set in place. Some of the rules listed on park boards are High Court orders but it has not been implemented.” A vital requirement is that the enforcement group must be sufficiently motivated to ensure its success, he added. The group, comprising 52 volunteers, has been spending every Saturday morning clearing up the litter at the park.

If rules are introduced, they ought to be abided by, feels M R Srinivasa Murthy, Principal Secretary, Finance department. “Many cities worldover have done it. The main issue at hand is the rigour with which the rules ought to be enforced. Prior to that, sufficient awareness has to be generated among people that it is being done in their own interest.”

As if lending credence to the view, Deputy Director of Horticulture, K G Jayadev says, “The boards are merely there to create an awareness among the public. No fine amount is being collected.” He also said he had to check out records to see if it was being done.

M S Srinivas, software engineer, Mphasis: “All these measures are not at all possible. These is India where rules are not followed. How many people on vehicles cross over the white lines at traffic junctions behind which they are supposed to stand. Even those well-educated do not go by rules. Increasing the policing at parks will help in curbing littering to a small extent.”

Sunenda, homemaker: Strict rules can definitely bring about a change. Huge dustbins placed near each other and big banners to create awareness can create a cleaner City.

Ramachandra Hebbar, stationery shop proprietor: Not merely a fine, some kind of punishment should also be enforced. Today anyone can easily pay a paltry sum like Rs 100. Those supposed to enforce the rules must also be very strict. Also monitoring should be round-the-clock. It is generally done during daytime only and people will come and dump stuff at nights.

Sheela, Assistant Clerk, LIC: Enforcement holds the key to the success of any regulaation. There are boards announcing fines but who is collecting them. Also, some structure must be put in place wherein the number of violations is also kept tab of and punishment dealt accordingly.


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