Bengaluru: While garbage burning has been menace to the city and the BBMP has done precious little to curb the practice, it has now come up with a plan to impose heavy fines.
The civic body is reportedly considering imposing a fine of Rs 5 lakh or five year imprisonment for those involved in garbage burning.
As per the law burning of garbage is not allowed where people reside, public spaces and vacant areas. Section 19(5) in The Air (Prevention and control of pollution) Act, 1981, prohibits burning of any material (not being fuel) in any air pollution control area or part thereof may cause or is likely to cause air pollution.
A senior BBMP officer said, “There is a law to prevent garbage, but there is little awareness. When we try to make people aware, they don’t care. Till date the Act has not been used against anyone, but garbage burning is a growing menace in the city.”
“This stringent Act needs to be enforced and anyone found burning garbage can be penalised of Rs 5 lakh or imprisoned for five years. The public should also be made aware of such an Act,” the officer added.
Another officer pointed out that Pourakarmikas themselves burn garbage in connivance with the contractors. This issue needs to be taken up seriously and it is high time, the garbage burning is banned. “We need to start enforcing rules rather than just discussing about it,” he added.
Shopkeepers to be warned
“The shopkeepers will also be warned, as they are the main culprits. After they close the shop in the night, they gather all the waste materials lying inside their shop and outside and set fire to it. This has become a regular habit to these shopkeepers, we will ask the zone level officials to seize such shops and make them a hefty fine,” said an official from Karnataka State Pollution Control Board.
He also said that until and unless the High Court gets involved in this issue, till than BBMP will not take any action. Only after the High Court issues warnings the BBMP will act. “Air pollution is on the rise in the city and if timely action is not taken it will worsen in future,” he concluded....