People’s vigilance panels to check dumping of waste

Secretaries of grama panchayats, municipalities and corporations told to act tough against violators

Soon, local bodies in the State will have people’s vigilance committees to check the illegal dumping of waste in public places and waterbodies.

The Department of Local Self Government has asked the secretaries of the grama panchayats, municipalities and corporations to act tough against the violators. The people’s vigilance committee would comprise of elected representatives in each ward, members of the residents’ associations and officials of the enforcement agencies, it is learnt.

The decision comes close on the heels of an assessment of the solid waste management scenario in local bodies carried out by the department in April. It was found that dumping of waste in public spots was rampant in many panchayats and municipalities. Open burning of waste was also detected in many civic bodies against the rules prescribed under the Solid Waste Management Rules, 2016.

The local bodies had lacked personnel and monitoring systems to track those involved in dumping waste into waterbodies. Many panchayats were not having CCTV facility in various wards to catch hold of those involved in dumping of waste in open places, lakes and rivers. The people’s vigilance committee is expected to ensure the involvement of the local communities in empowering the people against waste dumping, according to the officials involved in the project.

The local bodies found lagging behind in doorstep collection of solid waste should step up its coverage to at least 50% within three months. The panchayats, municipalities and corporations that had achieved 50% coverage should increase it to 100% by September.

The local bodies have to provide PPE kits, gloves, masks, sanitiser and gumboots to the workers involved in collection of waste.

The secretaries of the local bodies have to review the measures taken to ensure solid waste management and sanitation on a weekly basis. The gaps in the waste management systems have to be rectified without delay.

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