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  Shaming people for defecating in open is ‘not legal’: BMC

Shaming people for defecating in open is ‘not legal’: BMC

Published : May 4, 2016, 1:23 am IST
Updated : May 4, 2016, 1:23 am IST

While it has come to light that some wards of the city are resorting to shaming citizens in public who defecate in the open, the BMC’s solid waste management (SWM) department has condemned the action.

While it has come to light that some wards of the city are resorting to shaming citizens in public who defecate in the open, the BMC’s solid waste management (SWM) department has condemned the action.

Officials from the department confirmed that no such provision exists in the BMC’s Management of Solid Waste rules, terming the act ‘not legal’.

On Monday, it came to light that certain ward level departments of the BMC make citizens do sit-ups as a form of punishment for defecating in the open. In case any citizen is caught spitting on the street, they are also made to clean their spit off the road.

Speaking on the issue, Vijay Balamwar, deputy municipal commissioner of SWM said, “Only fines up to Rs 300 can be levied as punishment. In some cases, we have the option of community service, but even that is a non-rigid guideline. If the reports are true, this act is not as per any rule.”

Meanwhile the civic body also admitted that it does not have the infrastructure to ‘morally’ support such a stand. Another civic official from SWM called the action incorrect. He said, “It is not appropriate do something like this. Especially, since the city currently does not have enough number of toilets per person.” Mumbai currently has one toilet for every 50 people approximately, when in fact it should have one for every 25 persons, as per national standards.

Confirming that no such rule exists even as per BMC’s project Swachh Mumbai Prabodhan Abhiyan, which was launched to clear city’s streets of garbage, project head Subhash Dalvi said “The intention of the concerned officials may be good but this is certainly not the way. It is not mandated in any rule book.”

While the SWM department is contemplating taking action against the concerned officials, municipal commissioner Ajoy Mehta said, “I have to look into the matter before commenting.”