Karnataka: Bill imposing penalty for public defecation passed in assembly

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BANGALORE: MLAs cutting across the party lines on Friday voiced their concern over the amendments made in the Karnataka Municipal Corporations (Amendment) Bill, 2013

The bill, which was passed in the legislative assembly by voice vote, impose penalty from Rs 500 to Rs 5,000 for non-segregating waste, littering, spitting, urinating, open defecating, or committing other acts of nuisance on road, bus station, railway station, street, playground, park and other premises of public utility.

During a debate, the members said the bill could become draconian and may be used to harass people. “Mechanisms like constructing public toilets everywhere should be done before penalizing people for public defecation,” BJP members R Ashoka and CT Ravi said.

The bill states that the solid waste generated by all city corporations of the state especially in BBMP is very high. “These solid wastes has to be disposed systematically through scientific manner and as per the guidelines prescribed in Solid Wastes (Handling and Management) Rules, 2000 by the Central government,” it said.

The bill also includes removal of unauthorized cable including optical fibre cables laid under, over, along, the across, in or upon the streets or property has now been added as part of obligatory functions of the city corporations, in addition to the removal of obstructions and projections in or upon streets, bridges and other public places that figures in the 1976 act.

Piloting the bill, urban development minister Vinay Kumar Sorake clarified on the imprisonment clause saying policy was made way back in the year 2000, in connection with solid waste management. He also announced that program will start from Bangalore, before extending to other cities and towns of the state.

Shivalinge Gowda (JDS) said the scheme would make people responsive and demanded that government extend the scheme at taluk level.

The minister said, in order that public should not face any hardship; the government would give three months wide publicity on the penalty clause, before implementing it.

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