Clean-up marshalls fine 30,000 Mumbaikars, collect Rs 65 lakh in a month
The BMC’s clean-up marshals scheme may have seen its fair share of issues prior to inception, but a month into its implementation and the results are speaking for themselves.
The marshals, who have been patrolling various wards since July 1, have fined almost 30,000 citizens for littering, spitting and other offences in the first month alone. The total amount collected from all fines within the month – a staggering Rs 65 lakhs.
For the scheme, the BMC first identified over 700 spots in the city, including tourist spots and railway stations, that were most prone to littering and spitting. Then the fines for most common offences like spitting/littering and defecating were set at Rs 200 and 100 respectively. In addition, vendors can be fined Rs 500 for not placing a waste bin and a fine of Rs 1,000 can be levied on those who do not segregate hazardous waste.
In the month of July, 24,005 persons were fined Rs 200 by the marshals, while 3,505 were fined Rs 100. Another 1,195 persons were fined Rs 500, while 942 were made to pay Rs 1,000 in fines. In addition, over 83,000 were let go with a first time warning.
According to official figures, citizens from the R-central ward have contributed around Rs 11.32 lakh in fines, more than any other ward in the city. The ward includes areas like Dahisar and Borivali.
When asked about the fine collection process, a marshall stationed near Bandra (E) said, “In certain cases if people know they have done wrong, they are willing to pay the fine. But a lot of cases end up in arguments where citizens simply fail to acknowledge their mistake. In these cases we have no option but to take them to the nearest police station. Fortunately, no one wants to go to the station for paying a Rs 100 or 200 fine. So they end up paying.”
“In certain cases, when people do not have the money and acknowledge their mistake, we give them a warning and let them off,” he added.
If taken to the station, the culprits are booked under section 268 (public nuisance) of the Indian Penal Code.
Ajinkya Kerkar, who was recently fined for throwing a wrapper on the road, said, “I didn’t even realize I that I had thrown the wrapper. I am very careful about these things in general. But when the marshall approached me and told me that I had littered, I was pleasantly surprised. I willingly handed him the fine and thanked him for doing his job.”
According to one report, the scheme hasn’t been rolled out across all wards as the police verification of some marshalls is still underway.