The Chennai Corporation has decided to gradually strengthen penal provisions to cope with challenges posed to civic conditions in the city.

Recommending an increase of the ordinary penalties prescribed in Schedule VII by 20 times the existing amount, for contravention of various sections of the Chennai City Municipal Corporation Act, 1919, the civic body has also increased the fine for breaches of bylaws made by the Corporation Council under Section 349 and Section 350.

Violation of the bylaws would invite a “fine which may extend to Rs. 5,000, and in case of a continuing breach with fine which may extend to Rs. 100 for every day during which the breach continues after conviction for the first breach,” according to the proposed amendment.

The existing fine extends to “Rs. 50 and in case of continuing breach with fine which may extend to Rs. 15 for every day during which the breach continues after conviction of the first breach.”

The council may make bylaws to provide for all matters ranging from the due performance by all municipal officers and servants of duties assigned to them under this Act to regulations of the use of parks and other public or municipal places.

The increase of ordinary penalties prescribed in Schedule VII is likely to lead to the implementation of stringent measures by the civic body to check exhibiting, fixing and retaining of display advertisement without the written permission of the Corporation commissioner.

It is likely to cover the condition of public toilets, accumulation of rubbish and filth, management of carcasses of animals, unauthorised buildings within street alignment and unlawful displacement of pavement, fences, posts and other materials on a public street. For example, a person who damages a signboard or name board of roads is likely to be penalised under the provisions.

According to senior officials of the Corporation, the decision to amend the provisions will result in more stringent penal provisions, aimed at making Chennai’s civic conditions among the best in the world. More decisions on bylaws to improve civic conditions are likely to be taken by the Corporation Council soon.

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