Dumping garbage may cost Kolkatans up to 1 lakh

The move comes after Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee expressed her displeasure after finding out the newly inaugurated Dakshineswar skywalk was stained with betel juice. PTI file photo

Citizens may have to shell out a maximum fine of Rs 1 lakh for littering in public places, as the West Bengal Assembly passed a Bill to enhance the penalty for offenders. The penalty has been raised through an amendment to section 338 of the Kolkata Municipal Corporation (second amendment) Act which was passed in the Assembly on Thursday.

The move comes after Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee expressed her displeasure after finding out the newly inaugurated Dakshineswar skywalk was stained with betel juice. The Bill proposed to impose a minimum fine of Rs 5,000 and a maximum penalty of Rs 1 lakh fine on litterbugs.

The earlier law stipulated that the minimum penalty for dumping garbage was Rs 50 and the maximum fine was Rs 5,000.

It also came on a day, state Urban Development Municipal Affairs Minister Firhad Hakim was elected the new mayor of Kolkata after the exit of Sovan Chatterjee, on the directions of Chief Minister and TMC chief Mamata Banerjee.

Banerjee had formed an 11-member committee on Wednesday to check the spitting and littering in public places.

Hakim said he will take up a major awareness drive to keep the city clean. A senior citizen, who did not wish to be named, said: "The city had earlier failed to impose a fine of Rs 50 for littering, I am not sure how effective it will be this time."

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Dumping garbage may cost Kolkatans up to 1 lakh

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