11 Sep 2023 8:47 AM GMT
The Karnataka High Court on Monday suggested to the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) and State government to consider revising the penalty being imposed on violators of Solid Waste Management Rules, 2016. A division bench of Chief Justice Prasanna B Varale and Justice Krishna S Dixit noticed that so far Rs 11.66 crore is collected in 4 years between 10-09-2019 to 31-08-2023, as...
The Karnataka High Court on Monday suggested to the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) and State government to consider revising the penalty being imposed on violators of Solid Waste Management Rules, 2016.
A division bench of Chief Justice Prasanna B Varale and Justice Krishna S Dixit noticed that so far Rs 11.66 crore is collected in 4 years between 10-09-2019 to 31-08-2023, as penalty is imposed on 3.84 lakh SWM violators.
“In our opinion if the total amount of penalty collected by respondent BBMP qua violators is seen, it can safely be said that the penalty amount recovered from each violator is too meagre to work as a deterrent measure. In our opinion the stakeholders such as BBMP and state government are required to consider this aspect afresh,” it thus observed.
Court was also of the opinion that merely imposing a penalty may not serve purpose in all the cases and there requires an additional measure by way of deterrence so that the violators may not commit the violation repeatedly or commit the violation considering the meagre amount of penalty.
“As such to deal with this aspect the respondent BBMP may also consider initiating a penal action against violators taking recourse to appropriate provisions of IPC,” it added.
The court also made it clear that the user fee levied under Rule 15F of the SWM Rules makes no such prescription or such prerequisite for obtaining permission from the State government for imposing a user fee. “Accordingly, BBMP may consider this aspect and may take appropriate steps as early as possible,” it said.
Court said metro cities like Bengaluru are filled with apartments and cooperative housing societies that are points of waste generation and thus, there is need for waste segregation. "If the Apartment owners, flat owners or members of cooperative society are found to be violators, respondent BBMP is required to take appropriate steps against the violators,” Court ordered. BBMP has also been asked to take appropriate action so far as bio-medical waste generated by hospitals in the city is concerned.
The court called upon BBMP to submit a fresh report providing such necessary details on this aspect on the next date of hearing. “If respondent Karnataka State Pollution Control Board (KSPCB) is having additional responsibility of monitoring, the KSPCB to all submit its point of view and details of action taken by it, by way of response reply affidavit to this court,” Court added.
Finally the court suggested that the corporation consider the participation of citizens in this entire process. It said,
“One can't expect that it is the only responsibility or burden of other stakeholders like BBMP and KSPCB. The citizens are also required to act dutifully so as to follow provisions of rules and do not commit such acts which are termed as violation under the rules in particular and in general leading to health hazardous situations in the city. As such if this aspect is to be looked into and the need of the public awareness is to be met out in our opinion respondent corporation and state government as well as KSPCB may also explore the other means such as digital platforms or the FM channels for creating awareness or promoting awareness to give an angle of citizen centric approach to the entire exercise.”
The directions were given during the hearing of a bunch of petitions highlighting the non-compliance of rules and illegal dumping of unprocessed solid waste by the corporation, in quarries, causing damage to the environment.
The court has now posted the matter for further hearing after four weeks directing the BBMP and KSPCB to place on record further status report and responses on the next date.
Case Title: MS KAVIT SHANKAR AND State of Karnataka & Others
Case No: WP 24739/2012