Spit & escape by paying less
[ 15 Oct, 2006 0101hrs ISTTIMES NEWS NETWORK ]
MUMBAI: The BMC has decided to take a more tolerant view of people littering Mumbai’s roads or defecating, urinating, bathing or spitting on them. It has decided to scale down the fine for such behaviour from Rs 500 to Rs 100. The decision follows last month’s public hearing where citizens’ groups pointed out that the punishment could not be implemented simply because a large majority of the people who indulged in such activities would not be able to pay up.
Citizens, instead, asked for an increase in the number of nuisance detectors and incentives to make the Clean Mumbai programme a success. Citizens also pleaded that the BMC ensure the implementation of the proposed sanitation and cleanliness bylaws so that they did not remain a utopian dream. Clean Sweep convener Priya Ubale pointed out that the fine was a mere Rs 100 for all kinds of nuisance in Nagpur but the rate of detection was high; 80% of the collection was paid as incentive to the detectors.
Additional municipal commissioner, solid waste management, R A Rajeev said the Nagpur pattern would be introduced in Mumbai. “All other fines, like that for illegal parking on roads, will remain the same,” he said.
Residents also protested against the Saaf Aangan scheme, wherein citizens would have to ensure that the pavement and gutters outside their compounds remained clean. Chembur resident Raj Kumar Sharma pointed out that the BMC would have to first ensure that the footpath was clear of encroachment. “The Saaf Aangan concept will now apply only to non-residential premises,” Rajeev said.
Dadar Citizens’ Forum member Ashok Rawat pointed out to the BMC that unless it kept its premises clean it would not be possible for the administration to fine citizens. Rajeev acknowledged that the BMC would have to serve as a model of cleanliness.
“We have decided that all municipal markets and hospitals will be cleaned up and this clean state will be maintained. It has been made mandatory for every shop-keeper in markets to keep a bin and the garbage can be emptied only into the garbage van and not the community bin,” he said. Similarly, hospitals would also have to ensure that corridors and wards were clean, he added.