BBMP proposes to raise penalty for burning waste

BBMP proposes to raise penalty for burning waste

To control the increasing cases of burning of garbage and dry leaves, the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) has proposed to raise the penalty amount, and start penalising the offenders.

The Karnataka State Pollution Control Board (KSPCB) has also decided to file cases against the civic body and offenders for failing to control burning and causing air pollution.

According to the KSPCB, 12% of air pollution in the city is due to the burning of garbage and leaves.

The instances of setting garbage and dry leaves on fire can be seen across the city during early morning hours. But more so in the newly added 110 villages, where there is the least vigilance. Not just locals, but even the sanitation workers set garbage on fire. BBMP officials have admitted that this is done as they are unable to manage the increasing piles.

The BBMP and KSPCB officials have admitted to it even in front of Chief Secretary T M Vijay Bhaskar at various coordination committee meetings, including the one held on Tuesday.

Randeep D, Additional Commissioner (administration), BBMP, told DH that to inculcate a sense of fear and control the cases, permission has been sought from the government to increase the penalty amount by four to five times.

Currently, the BBMP slaps a fine of Rs 100 on the offender. The KSPCB also has powers to issue notices and file cases against violators, including government agencies. However, KSPCB and BBMP officials admitted that so far no penalty has been levied and no cases have been booked. The KSPCB has only served notices to the civic body, but of no avail.

Randeep admitted that the sanitation workers are setting garbage pile on fire. But no cases are lodged against them, fearing strike or other untoward incidents. However, now it has been decided to strengthen vigil and penalise offenders. A platform is also being created where people can upload information and photographs for quick action.

Adding to this, Manoj Kumar, Member Secretary, KSPCB said the cases of setting dry leaves and garbage on fire increase during winters. The board only has powers to issue notices and file cases against the civic body. So far no cases have been booked, but now it is proposed to do so. The only thing left is to file criminal cases against offenders under the Air Act.