POLY BAG BAN: KDMC FINES SHOP­KEEPER

Hindustan Times ST (Mumbai) - Live - - THANE - Sa­jana Nam­biar

KALYAN: A team of KDMC of­fi­cials mon­i­tor­ing the im­ple­men­ta­tion of the plas­tic bag ban al­legedly col­lected a fine of Rs1,500, against the rec­om­mended Rs5,000 penalty, from a Dom­bivli shop­keeper.

As part of one-year-long clean­li­ness drive over waste man­age­ment, the Kalyan Dom­bivli Mu­nic­i­pal Cor­po­ra­tion (KDMC) had im­posed the ban in May last year and rec­om­mended a penalty of Rs5,000 against vi­o­la­tors us­ing poly­thene bags less than 50 mi­crons in thick­ness. A ded­i­cated team was formed to pe­nalise vi­o­la­tors in the KDMC ju­ris­dic­tion.

Vish­wanath Bi­walkar, an ac­tivist from Dom­bivli, claimed that the in­spec­tors from (KDMC) gave two re­ceipts of Rs500 each — one un­der shop­keeper’s name and the other against the shop owner’s name — and pock­eted an ex­tra Rs500 from the shop on July 22. Bi­walkar said that the penalty slips did not men­tion the rea­son for the fine.

“They (of­fi­cials) did not write down the rea­son for the penalty be­cause they wanted to pocket the amount,” Bi­walkar said.

The pur­ported cor­rupt prac­tice came to light when the shop­keeper ap­proached the ac­tivist.

Ini­tially, the of­fi­cials de­manded Rs5,000 for non-com­pli­ance, but they later set­tled for Rs1,000 with re­ceipts as the shop­keeper could pay such a hefty penalty, he said. In his com­plaint to the KDMC, the ac­tivist asked if civic in­spec­tors can re­vise the fine amount on the spot. He also ap­pealed to KDMC com­mis­sioner E Ravendi­ran to con­trol such prac­tices.

Ravendi­ran said, “I will look into this and take steps against the of­fi­cials if found guilty.”

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