Corporation imposes fine on Big Bazaar

Loads of waste, collected as part of a scheme, dumped near Mudavanmugal

March 31, 2016 12:00 am | Updated 05:43 am IST - Thiruvananthapuram:

The city Corporation imposed a fine of Rs.25,000 on Big Bazaar, Kesavadasapuram, for dumping five loads of waste material at Konkalam, near Mudavanmugal, on Tuesday night.

The detection of the waste dump blew the lid off the popular ‘junk exchange’ schemes by which consumers are given a discount if they bring in junk materials. Old bags, footwear, and clothes collected from consumers as part of such schemes were seen dumped beside the road at Konkalam.

The health wing officials, who were at first unsure of the origin of the waste materials, found a paper with few contact numbers near the dump.

The numbers turned out to be those of consumers who had handed over junk in exchange of discount coupons at Big Bazaar. Some of them visited the spot and gave statements to the officials. Mayor V.K. Prasanth and other Corporation officials visited the spot.

“The owners of the retail store claim that they had given the waste materials to sub-contractors, who had dumped it here. They have been asked to remove the waste completely by Thursday,” said R.P. Sivaji, Punnakamugal ward councillor. In ‘pay by junk’ exchange schemes, the consumers are asked to bring in any waste material, including paper, dress, bags, footwear, and e-waste.

They will be given a coupon in exchange, which can be redeemed when shopping to get discounts up to 25 per cent.

“These exchange schemes are just a ploy to clear old stock. The consumers who hand over the junk expect these things to be recycled. But, the retail store owners are now dumping it on our roads. This is unacceptable. If they do not have an arrangement to process or recycle these waste materials, why are they collecting it and fooling the consumers? We will check where they will be taking the junk removed from here,” said K. Sreekumar, Chairperson of the Health Standing Committee.

The Mayor has directed all shops running such ‘junk exchange’ schemes to inform the local body of what measures they are taking to dispose of the collected waste. Strict action, including cancellation of licence, will be taken against shops which fail to comply.

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