'Segregate garbage or pay fine'

'Segregate garbage or pay fine'

The Assembly on Friday passed an amendment Bill which seeks to impose a penalty ranging from Rs 100 to Rs 5,000 for not segregating garbage and urinating and littering in public places in all city corporations, including the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP).

The Karnataka Municipal Corporations (Amendment) Bill 2013, piloted by Urban Development Minister Vinay Kumar Sorake, was approved in a voice vote.  However, members cutting across party affiliations advised the government not to rush through its implementation without making proper preparations. 

The Bill is yet to come up for consideration in the legislative council.  The government move to impose fines is based on the Karnataka High Court direction of 2012. The proposed Bill is aimed at ensuring scientific disposal of solid waste and maintaining cleanliness in public places. 

Besides fines for initial offences, the Bill also proposes imprisonment up to three months and a fine up to Rs 1,000 or both for a person who is convicted for the fifth time.

As per the Bill, any officer authorised by the corporation commissioner not below the rank of a group-B officer can impose the fine. Hefty fine has been proposed for violations by bulk garbage generators, dumping of building waste irregularly and failure to segregate and hand over garden waste, inert waste, sanitary, non-biodegradable and biomedical waste to the local body.

Implementation delayed

Defending the Bill, Sorake said the government would not implement it as certain preparations have to be made. 

Enough publicity would be given about the Bill and people would be educated on all the provisions. Steps would also be taken to construct adequate number of toilets and urinals in public places, he added.

The government is only following the directions of the high court. The previous BJP government had approved the Bill and introduced it in the Assembly, but it could not be passed. 

The same Bill was placed before the Assembly now. The provision for imprisonment for repeated offences was present in the original Bill. 

The image of Bangalore has taken a beating due to its garbage disposal problem. The bill aims to streamline the system, he added.

He also said that the government is planning to include all urban local bodies, including CMC, TMCs and TPs, under the provision in a phased manner.

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