Bengaluru

Owners must maintain vacant sites, or pay penalty

BBMP issues a circular directing officials to issue notices

Owners of vacant sites, who have allowed the dumping of mixed waste and construction debris on the premises, will now have to pay a penalty for their apathy and lack of civic sense. The Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) has issued a circular directing officials to issue notices to owners, making them liable for any waste being dumped on their premises.

According to the circular, a copy of which is with The Hindu, civic officials can issue notices and levy a penalty of ₹25,000 on site owners under sections 56, 257, 332, 333, 334 and 335 of the Karnataka Municipal Corporations Act, 1976. The fine for repeat offenders can go up to ₹1 lakh.

Citizens’ groups and activists, who have been fighting the menace of black spots, are sceptical of the BBMP’s ability to enforce this law given that it had promised to levy fines in the past. They cited the example of the illegal landfill near Kundalahalli lake where outbreaks of fire and the dumping of mixed waste are regular occurrences despite the BBMP’s promise to take action against the site owner and those illegally dumping garbage at the site.

Senior officials admitted that though the civic body had issued similar circulars in the past, no action had been taken. This time, however, the menace was highlighted by the National Green Tribunal (NGT). It was recently discussed at a meeting chaired by Subhash B. Adi, who heads the State committee of the NGT. He directed the BBMP to issue notices to owners of vacant sites and ensure that they (sites) don't transform into black spots.

The circular states that notices may be sent to the owners of vacant sites by registered post. BBMP officials are required to take up a mahajar of the site, take photographs of the waste dumped there, and paste a copy of the notice at the site. Owners are liable to clear the site within 15 days of receiving the notice.

BBMP's Special Commissioner (Solid Waste Management) D. Randeep admitted that this was not the first time the civic body had issued such a circular. “The onus is now on the owner of the site, as it is difficult to pin down people who are dumping waste or construction debris at the site,” he said and added that the circular would also serve as a reminder to officials to exercise powers under the KMC Act, 1976.

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Printable version | Jun 5, 2020 6:09:16 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/bangalore/owners-must-maintain-vacant-sites-or-pay-penalty/article27152953.ece

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