Need ID cards immediately: marshals tell BBMP

Need ID cards immediately: marshals tell BBMP

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Former servicemen, working as marshals guarding public spaces against littering, have demanded that the BBMP issue identity cards at the earliest.

Citing persistent demands to establish their identity, many are humiliated over handling issues on the ground. The former servicemen have warned they may not turn up for work, if their demand is not met immediately.

The Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike and the Bangalore Development Authority have deployed around 400 former servicemen, NCC and ACC cadets in Bellandur and Varthur lakes, abandoned quarries and solid waste management sites.

In fact, the BBMP is now working to deploy two marshals in each of the city's 198 wards to wipe out the garbage black spots. In the past four days alone, the marshals have caught 100 vehicles dumping garbage during the night time.

"We are asked to produce ID cards despite our uniforms and using the BBMP's prahari vehicles," said Col Basavaraj, a marshal. "People don't take us seriously and ask what powers we have to stop them from littering and slapping fines. Surprisingly, such questions are raised by educated citizens."

Marshals carry an authorisation letter from the BBMP, stating that they have the powers to stop and penalise offenders. The situation has turned ugly sometimes and the marshals had to summon the police. "So, the BBMP should issue ID cards to prove we work for the city authority," Col Basavaraj said.

As a marshal, Wesley Fernandes had to tolerate abuse from those he stops and penalises for violation. "We face embarrassments every day," he lamented. "Vehicles disregard the orders to stop. Many such incidents (of clashes between marshals and polluters) happen around Bellandur, HSR Layout, Mahadevapura and surrounding areas."

BBMP commissioner Manjunath Prasad could not conceal his shock when DH explained the plight of the marshals. "We'll issue the ID cards at the earliest," he said. "Marshals are helping the BBMP to stop littering. Those ill-treating them will face police action."