West Bengal assembly passes bills increasing fine for throwing waste

[] The West Bengal assembly has passed a bill, allowing the state’s civic bodies to levy fines of up to Rs one lakh, if residents fail to comply with measures for the prevention of mosquito breeding and for throwing solid waste in public places

The West Bengal assembly, on November 26, 2018, passed a bill which empowers municipalities in the state to charge a fine of a maximum of Rs one lakh, if the residents fail to comply with the measures for prevention of mosquito breeding and spreading of vector borne diseases.

The West Bengal Municipal (Second Amendment) Bill, 2018 also has a provision which increases the fine for depositing and throwing solid waste in public places, to maximum of Rs 50,000.

According to state municipal affairs minister Firhad Hakim, the penalty has been increased in both the cases, to raise awareness among the masses.

“Despite several awareness programmes in various municipalities, we are seeing that there is a tendency to neglect various norms for the prevention of mosquito breeding and throwing of solid waste in public places. This has to stop. So, we have decided to increase the amount of fine. Our intention is not to fine the residents but to raise awareness through it,” Hakim said.

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Among the other objectives of the bill, it also states opening of bank account for municipal fund into any scheduled bank within or outside the municipal area. The bill also states a specific amount of fees for transfer of title of land or building or apartment in every municipal area of the state. Also, the property tax on holdings used for running government owned hospitals and clinics, have been exempted. The benefit of extending the exemption of property tax to senior citizens, have been reduced from the age of 65 to 60.

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Debora Berti

Università degli Studi di Firenze, IT

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