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Shopkeepers fined for littering

D. Radhakrishnan
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Ooty Municipality crack down on members of trading community

Municipal staff displaying warning notice in Udhagamandalam on Tuesday.— Photo: M. Sathyamoorthy
Municipal staff displaying warning notice in Udhagamandalam on Tuesday.— Photo: M. Sathyamoorthy

With litter-related problems rapidly proliferating and complaints mounting in this holiday destination, the civic administration has responded with a plan of action to identify the sources and deal with them in a systematic manner. Following the strategy being welcomed by various sections of the society here, the municipality has set in motion its campaign by cracking down on members of the trading community who are not falling in line with the rules. In tune with this, fines amounting to Rs. 20,000 have been collected from about 75 shop keepers over the last four days.

Speaking to The Hindu here on Tuesday, Municipal Commissioner K. Sivakumar said that a trader who was running an eatery on the Hobart Road in a booth which had been allotted to him by The Nilgiris District Cooperative Milk Producers Union to sell milk, had been fined Rs. 200 for littering the public place.

However he had refused to pay the fine by citing his rights. His defiance was reported to the district administration and the eatery sealed. To a question, he said that a fine of Rs. 200 was being collected from first time offenders.

If the offence is repeated, the trader will be fined Rs. 500. If the trader persists in breaking the rules, he or she will be fined Rs. 2,000 and his or her license suspended. He added that already a meeting had been conducted to seek the cooperation of the traders in keeping Ooty clean. Posters cautioning the traders have also been displayed in various parts of the town. Inter alia they appeal to the people to avoid smoking in public places. When asked about the deplorable condition of the Gandhi Maidhan in the heart of the town, he said that the Government Higher Secondary School here has been asked to maintain it properly.

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