Cracking down on non-segregation of waste by households in the capital, the South Delhi Municipal Corporation (SDMC) has issued 75 notices in Janakpuri over the past two days for violation of the Solid Waste Management bylaws.
This is the first time a civic body has issued notices citing the bylaws. Earlier, the three corporations — East, North and South — had maintained they cannot issue fines as they were yet to make people aware of waste segregation and provide facilities.
The solid waste management bylaws, notified by L-G Anil Baijal on January 15, places the onus of waste segregation — into wet waste (biodegradable), dry waste (non-biodegradable), and domestic hazardous waste — directly on those who generate it, including households. Violators are liable to pay a Rs 200 fine.
Move meant to take pressure off landfill sites
The aim behind waste segregation is to reduce pressure on landfill sites. Delhi sends around 5,000 tonnes of waste to three landfills each day. The overflowing Ghazipur landfill site collapsed in September last year, killing two. Experts say that of the municipal solid waste generated, close to 50% is compostable waste, and around 20% is recyclable. The decision to issue notices, after months of holding meetings and putting up posters, reflects the pressure to ensure the Municipal Solid Waste bylaws are adhered to.
SDMC Superintending Engineer Rajeev Kumar Jain, who carried out the Janakpuri drive, said, “So far, we have issued notices to 75 of 200 households each in Narang colony and Chander Nagar colony.”
Jain said the exercise was undertaken by roping in RWAs, and that awareness campaigns were held in these areas. However, he said the notice is more of a pressure tactic and the fine might not be collected this time. But if there are repeat violations, the civic body will crack the whip.
Residents, meanwhile, are aggrieved by the move. Those who were challaned alleged that the corporation did not hold any awareness campaigns, and that officials showed up at their doorstep with the notices.
Kulbir Singh, who was fined, said, “Who in Delhi does segregation? One fine day, they came and slapped a notice.”
The bylaws also direct civic bodies to provide door-to-door collection and transportation of segregated waste, including in slums and unauthorised colonies.
South corporation commissioner P K Goel said, “It is high time waste segregation is started in the city, because the landfill model is not sustainable. But we need co-operation of people and sustained support for it to succeed.”