The Chandigarh Municipal Corporation has challaned 114 people over the past three for defecating in the open. A fine of Rs 500 was imposed on the violators.
A total of 15 teams of marshals appointed by the Municipal Corporation identified the habitual offenders at 5 am. On Thursday, as many as 22 people were challaned from areas such as Mauli Jagran, Janta and Kumhar Colony, Indira Colony and other colony areas.
The marshals were appointed at ‘hot spots’ identified by the civic body where people went in for open defecation.
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“Our first priority was to make available toilet seats or renovate the existing ones. Around 160 new toilets were set up. These people were made aware by our marshals that when they have a toilet near to them then why did they go to defecate in the open. When they continued to violate, challan was issued on the spot,” said Joint Commissioner Manoj Khatri.
The MC had even sought help of police force to challan people and drive them away from the spots.
“We had written to the Chandigarh police and the station house officers concerned have been providing police help to our inspectors who require it on the spot,” added the official.
Challans have been issued to those who are ‘habitual offenders’ and the team of marshals found them daily in the
The violators are asked to pay fine on the spot by the Medical Officer of Health (MOH) wing of the Municipal Corporation.
This is being done to get the city open defecation-free (ODF) status. The civic body has expedited its work since a team from the ministry would be visiting the city soon to decide whether Chandigarh deserves the ODF tag or not. The team would have certain parameters and they would check the city during the morning hours. Also, the availability of toilets will be checked and whether people were using them or not.
To encourage people to use public and community toilets, the Commissioner of the Municipal Corporation had issued orders that the use of all public toilets in Chandigarh be made free for people.
Mayor Arun Sood’s ward and Senior Deputy Mayor Davesh Moudgil’s ward have already been given ODF status.
A survey in the end of November 2015 had revealed that 2,159 males, 861 women and 674 children went for open defecation. These details were mentioned in the Swacch Bharat status as well. However, Congress councillors had raised a question on the data stating that there were more than the said number of people who went on the open.
Fine collection on the spot
The MC inspectors have been collecting the fine of Rs 500 on the spot from the violators. Joint Commissioner Manoj Khatri said that there was not even a single person who could not pay the fine on the spot. The MC officials have been told to impound the cycle, rickshaw of the violator if he doesn’t pay the fine on the spot. “Till now, all of them have paid the fine,” said Khatri.