Environment
The GHMC intends to collect as much as Rs 50 lakh in the month of January as penalty for littering.
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The Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) intends to ramp up their collection of fines for littering and dumping waste on roads as part of Swachh Survekshan 2019 efforts. The corporation intends to implement Rs 100 for littering and Rs 10,000 for dumping waste into drains or nalas.

The GHMC is undertaking to drive against littering to “protect the image of the city” as part of the Swachh Bharat Mission. GHMC Commissioner Dana Kishore has set targets for all zonal officials to conduct special weekly drives on construction and waste disposal, littering, garbage burning, urination and waste dumping into nalas.

The fine amounts have been set at Rs 100 for littering on roads and open spaces, throwing litter around bins and open urination. Rs 1,000 will be collected from shop owners who litter in front of their shops and from those throwing waste into drains. The corporation will charge a fine of Rs 2,000 for bulk garbage dumping on roads. Dumping of unauthorised debris and dumping waste into nalas will attract Rs 10,000 as fine.

The fines being collected are in accordance with section 119 of the Hyderabad Municipal Corporation Act, 1955. However, a senior official who is one among the officers tasked with fine collection pointed out that the fines being collected are too low to instil discipline in the public. “We need to revise these fines but that would require amendments to the HMC act. As government officials we can’t increase the fines,” the official said.

The GHMC has set a target of collecting Rs 50 lakh from fines for the month of January, reported The Times of India. This is the second year that the GHMC is undertaking Swachh Survekshan. For its efforts in 2018, the corporation won an award for the Best Capital City in Solid Waste Management in the Swachh Survekshan 2018 rankings by the Centre. The GHMC was ranked 27 among 4,041 cities in India for Swachh Survekshan 2018.

Soma Bharat, project manager for Swachh Bharat Mission (GHMC) heading Swachh Survekshan 2019 in Hyderabad, told TNM, “Collecting fines is only one of the parameters for the successful implementation of Swachh Bharat Mission. The first thing is providing the necessary and suitable infrastructure for waste disposal to the public.”

He points out how in cities such as Bhopal and Indore, fines collected for littering was over the property tax collected. “This has had a positive impact, now people there are proactively taking initiatives to stop public littering and urination. But in Hyderabad, there is a general lack of awareness among certain sections of society, so we are tailoring awareness programmes to target them,” he added.