Tired of Bengalureans littering with impunity? The Marshals are coming

Ex-servicemen may be roped in to spot those carelessly dumping garbage in Bengaluru.
Tired of Bengalureans littering with impunity? The Marshals are coming
Tired of Bengalureans littering with impunity? The Marshals are coming
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Bengaluru, which was once known as the garden city is now garbage ridden. While those who strew waste on the streets might be oblivious to the garbage build up, it’s time to stop and think.

The city may now have a marshal-style garbage management programme to weed out offenders and impose penalties on them.

The Sainik Welfare and Resettlement Board’s director, Brigadier (Retd) SB Sajjan, has submitted a proposal to the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) to rope in ex-servicemen to spot those carelessly dumping garbage and help enforce the amendments to the Karnataka Municipal Act introduced in 2013.

“The BBMP has mapped the entire system of garbage collection and disposal including the routes taken by each garbage collection van and which street each pourakarmika (sanitation workers in Kannada) has to clean up. Despite this, the garbage menace has not stopped. This plan has proposed the introduction of marshals as enforcers. They will man the wards and impose fines on offenders,” said BBM Commisioner, N Manjunath Kumar.

The proposal has been sent for approval to the standing committee for health, after which it requires the BBMP Council’s nod. Once these approvals are obtained, the plan will be implemented, he added.

The News Minute procured a copy of the proposal submitted to the BBMP, which is based on a Karnataka HC directive of employing marshal service dated June 23, 2016, and here’s what it states:

As many as 198 marshals (all ex-servicemen) will be deployed across the city’s wards and each ward will have one marshal.

They will report to eight of BBMP’s junior commissioners acting as supervisors for the programme, who will in turn report to two retired colonels, who will be appointed as the chief and deputy officers.

“The plan proposes a contract for a period of two years but BBMP is considering revising it to five years,” the Commissioner said.

Marshal duties

The marshals will take preventive measure to check littering, open defecation and urination, spotting and marking prominent dumping spots in various wards, and imposing fines on offenders.

They will also help enforce the recent amendments to the Karnataka Municipal Act in 2013.

This will include monitoring the waste management systems at wedding halls, restaurants, eating joints and apartment buildings.

"The new act states that they have to segregate their own waste or ask BBMP service providers for help. The marshals will monitor these activities and impose fines on offenders. Also, the act bans the use of plastic bags and individuals or shops using them will be identified and fined appropriately,” the proposal states.

They will also be involved in raising awareness about keeping the city clean in schools and colleges.

The marshals’ working hours will be from 5 am to 9am and 10 pm to 2 am when garbage dumping takes place at various dump sites.

Projected cost

According to the proposal, the project is estimated to cost Rs 7.66 lakh per annum.

The proposal requests that every marshal be given 2 litres of petrol to travel 100km per day; the junior commissioners be given 1.5 litres of petrol to travel 100km per day and the chief and deputy officers together get 5 litres of petrol to travel 100km per day.

It also requests a sum of Rs 500 – 1,000 be given to the personnel as funds for mobile phone expenses per month.

The proposal also contains estimated salaries for the marshals as Rs 25,000 per month, Rs 40,000 for junior commissioners and Rs 90,000 for the senior officers.

Marshals will get two pairs of uniforms every year. The uniform will be grey-coloured shirt and trousers along with a black belt, black shoes and a black baret with ‘marshal’ printed on the upper arm.

The job will include preventing littering and defecation/urination in public; undertaking educative measures for the placement of suitable signage; and selecting and earmarking proper garbage dumping points.

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