Citizens’ Charter demands change in garbage strategy

Citizens’ Charter demands change in garbage strategy

A Citizens’ Charter of demands on solid waste management, prepared after a highly interactive event arranged by DH in the first week of October, has been formally submitted to the state government for further action. 

The charter is now with the Deputy Chief Minister and Bengaluru Development Minister G Parameshwara and BBMP Commissioner N Manjunath Prasad, both of whom had responded to a range of questions posed by citizens during the DH and Citizens for Civic Amenities on October 6. 

DH will now track the progress of the follow-up action over the next few months, acting as a robust bridge between citizens and the government. 

Decentralisation of waste management by involving resident welfare associations and civic organisations at the ward level is a key demand listed in the charter. Centralised management controlled by the contractor mafia has often held the BBMP to ransom over the payment of dues. 

The civic body has already acted on the demand to increase the penalty for littering, articulated by citizens at the DH meet. It recently hiked the penalty from Rs 100 (for the first offence) to Rs 500 under the Karnataka Municipal Corporations (Amendment) Act, 2013. At the DH event, the deputy chief minister had directed the BBMP commissioner to effect this hike. Many citizens had complained that the existing fine failed to deter rampant littering. 

The new rule says that non-segregation of waste at source will attract a penalty of Rs 500 for the first time and Rs 1,000 for every subsequent time. Bulk generators or commercial complexes will have to cough up Rs 2,500 for the first time offence and Rs 5,000 for every subsequent offence. 

Citizens have also sought the strict implementation of the plastic ban and restriction on disposables such as single-use plastic products at domestic, commercial and corporate levels. 

Technology could help streamline the collection and disposal of waste. Citizens have demanded the government to scientifically track vehicles that collect garbage and compactors that ferry the waste to the landfill sites/quarries.