FIRs to be filed against litterbugs

For a little over a week, marshals appointed by the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) have been fining litterbugs caught dumping waste and impounding their vehicles. However, the civic body has decided that this is not a strong enough deterrent and will now be filing complaints with the jurisdictional police so that FIRs can be registered against offenders.

The BBMP has already compiled a list of offenders, including the place of offence, time they were caught and their vehicle registration numbers. In instances where offenders simply run away or refuse to give their details, the civic body hopes to track them using their vehicle registration numbers. The BBMP will be submitting this list to the police.

This decision was taken following a recent direction from the Karnataka High Court to the BBMP to put a mechanism in place to maintain data in police records about people who throw waste even after being fined. This will allow the civic body to initiate action against them under the Karnataka Open Spaces (Prevention of Disfigurement) Act, 1981. The police were directed to assist BBMP officials in this endeavour.

Col. Rajbir Singh (retd.), BBMP’s Chief Marshal Officer, told The Hindu that most of the 250 marshals in the civic body have been redeployed to catch litterbugs. They are mainly keeping a watch at black spots where garbage is routinely dumped. “A majority of the offenders that we have caught are found to be dumping hotel waste, medical waste, animal waste or construction debris. There are many habitual offenders who challenge the marshals when we stop them,” he said.

He claimed the acceptance level (to being fined for the offence) is still low while many feign ignorance. “We have also found that habitual offenders try to hoodwink the marshals by finding new spots to dump waste,” he added.

BBMP Joint Commissioner (Solid Waste Management and Health) Sarfaraz Khan said the civic body has enough grounds to file complaints with the police. “We have the details of the place of offence, the time it was committed and the vehicle registration numbers of offenders. Civic officials will extract the address of the offender from the vehicle registration numbers and submit the details to the police. This is one of the compliances that the High Court insisted upon,” he said.

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Printable version | Feb 26, 2021 9:30:57 AM |

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