POLY BAG BAN: KDMC FINES SHOPKEEPER
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.”