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Government to crack down soon on littering in Panaji

PANAJI: Come January, the government will be commencing a drive to crack down on the littering in government offices and public places within the jurisdiction of the Corporation of the City of Panaji (CCP).

North Goa Collector Nila Mohanan has decided to start the drive from the first week of January.

The Collector will soon hold a review meeting with the two squads formed for the purpose, directing them to carry out regular field inspections in order to monitor the disposal of solid waste by citizens and take action against the defaulters.

A special joint operation along with the tourism department has been planned to check the plastic garbage menace at the Miramar beach. The operation will continue for three days and people found throwing garbage and littering the beach will be penalised.

The two flying squads, which were formed last year to check littering in public places in Panaji and to enforce the provisions of Municipal Solid Waste (management and handling) Rules 2000 and the Goa Non-biodegradable Garbage (control) Act, 1996 have remained inactive.

Stating that residential buildings have a proper solid waste disposal system, Mohanan said that the government offices located in the city have, however, failed to implement the system. The citizens, according to the system, were directed to segregate the waste in two separate bins. “As this system is not being followed properly in government offices in the city, we will start enforcing the Act first in these offices,” said the North Goa Collector.

The Collector had convened a meeting in the last month and almost 40 government departments were directed to start implementing the solid waste disposal system in their respective office premises by the end of December, failing which they were warned of hefty penalty.       “Though the squads were formed in November last year, there has been no action taken against those littering the public places,” said the Collector adding that enough awareness has been created by the CCP on this issue and now it is time to act.

The Goa Non-biodegradable Garbage (control) Act, 1996 was amended recently in September by increasing the penalty for commercial establishments and the new penalty amounts are Rs 2,000, Rs 5,000 and Rs 25,000 for the first, second and third offences, respectively. The amendment has also made littering a cognisable offence with imprisonment of up to six months. For residential complexes, the enalty ranges from Rs 200 up to Rs 5,000 or with imprisonment of one month.

The two squads comprise of five members each including a police sub-inspector, excise inspector, CCP junior engineer and motor vehicle inspector and will be headed by mamlatdar.

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