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Litter Cops of Bangalore

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Next time you think of littering on Kempe Gowda Road, M G Road, Cubbon Road or Commercial Street, look out for one of the sixty litter cops in special uniforms belonging to retired army man, BN Nandukumar's Major Territorial Army.
Depending on whether you are “Misusing water meant for drinking, urinating in public, throwing garbage around, spitting/expectorating and allowing pet animals to mess around" you will be slapped with on the spot fines ranging from Rs 100 to Rs 1000. They will also issue show-cause notice to shopkeepers as well as individuals who do not abide by rules.

Assisted by the palike officials, these cops will be equipped with a handycam each to record the behaviour of the public so that the charges won’t be disputed.

In case, you are wondering where to dump trash if not on the streets, the palike will place dustbins very 100 meters on these streets.

The palike plans to eventually grow this cadre of litter cops to cover 200 commercial streets across the city.

This brings us to the legality of the whole thing. If there is a legal basis on which the private litter cop cadre has been allowed, can that same basis be used to empower a private traffic management cadre?

The Deccan Herald article which reported this story, mentioned the schedules of the Karnataka Municipal Corporation Act on which the legality of fines is based. But it does not mention any thing about the legality of having private cadre. i looked up a version of the Karnataka Municipal Corporation Act, but from initial cursory reading could not make sense. If anybody knows more about this please share your information.


gowda's picture

But will this work?

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If you think about it, law and order is maintained the world over by inducing fear; be it from fines or imprisonment. But are these something that can be implemented 100% in India for loitering? My argument is that we can segregate (broadly) people into 2 sets: 1) People *with* money who loiter the streets 2) People *without* money who loiter the streets Fines in the first case would be valid but in the second case it is almost impossible to retrieve fines. Concerns: 1) How do you make people to pay fines? Are there other consequences of not paying the fines? (The article doesn't mention anything on non-payment) 2) Do you take into account repeat offenders? How to do you track them? Are they fined more? The alternative that i can think of (especially with toilets) is to have them at regular locations and (more importantly) make them free. The ones available now are paid if i am not wrong. The issue with attending nature's call is more of a physical issue than a social issue. :-)
City.Zen's picture

Honesty is lack of opportunity...

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Honesty is lack of opportunity... A lesson that could be learnt from corporates is about how they try to modify their staff behavior. When sermonizing, appeals, etc. fail, they try by eliminating opportunities for dishonesty and indiscipline. As gowda says, have more toilets at regular locations, keep them clean and make them free. Similarly, keep more dustbins. In the case of People *without* money who loiter and litter the streets, if unable to pay fines, could be made to do community service.
City Zen
tsubba's picture

carding ...

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you folks make a good point. in mysore they plan to try whistle and carding violators amongst other things. check out the proposal (click). comment guidelines

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