Zone 13 tops the table in collection of fines for excessive dumping of debris and garbage, finds Liffy Thomas

Annoyed seeing heaps of construction waste dumped on your street? Or, wondering why the dustbin at the end of the street is perennially overflowing with garbage even when it is cleared regularly by the conservancy staff? Instead of picking up a fight with the culprits, why not register a complaint to the Corporation’s helpline, which is going all out to penalise those guilty of littering with streets with waste by excess dumping.

“Chennai Corporation’s Zone 13 (Adyar) has booked more number of violators than any other zone,” said a senior official.

A total of Rs. 30,500 was collected toward fine amount for excess disposal of garbage and Rs. 42,500 for debris, from January to May this year. The maximum amount collected from an individual for excess dumping was Rs. 2,000. A majority of these violators were commercial establishments, especially hotels and restaurants. Last year, the zone collected Rs. 6.33 lakh as fine amount for garbage and Rs. 7 lakh for debris. Currently, the Corporation penalises for excess debris and garbage dumping.

But does inflicting penalties help in keeping the streets clean? Many do not think so. “If a builder is penalised Rs. 2,000 for dumping construction waste on the street, it is nothing for him. Penalising alone does not help, the permit must be withdrawn,” says V. Srinivasan, secretary of Seabrooke Apartments Owners Association, Valmiki Nagar and an environmental activist.

Asked what happens to the construction waste, the official said, “Often the debris is illegally dumped along the streets and water bodies. We are planning to sell the debris. Also, we are locating a place at the zone level where the litter can be disposed.”

More In: Downtown | Features