Curb littering on roads

<strong>Curb littering on roads</strong>

An incident that took place in district Budgam should act as an inspiration for the administration across Jammu and Kashmir (UT), if it really wants to implement Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s flagship programme Swachh Bharat Abhiyan in letter and spirit.

A case has been registered against two residents of Ichgam village of Budgam district for throwing garbage and littering on roadside. The case was registered under relevant sections of IPC in police station Budgam.

Irresponsible citizens who litter and dump garbage on the roads should be brought to book. Keeping the surrounding clean is not the sole duty of the administration but it needs active cooperation from the society in general.

All states in the United States have anti-littering, pollution laws. Be it a can of soda, some gum, a box, a TV, chemical waste, or a company’s trash, to varying degrees, all U.S. states have laws prohibiting littering.

Similarly, Singapore is so determined to stay clean and liter free that this country has banned chewing gum. To put this in perspective, throwing a can of soda onto the ground could land you an immediate $300 fine – if you’re a first time offender.  

Littering is a crime under the Indian Penal Code, Section 279. Unfortunately, it is still a common practice across the country especially in Jammu and Kashmir. It puts a huge burden on local municipalities, which have to spend crores of rupees on cleaning up streets, segregating waste and ultimately recycling it.

Lack of proper waste management bins and roadside garbage bins can also add to the problem of garbage pile-up, which, in turn, can lead to deadly communicable diseases. Many people are unaware of the detrimental effects of littering; hence they keep on throwing garbage without any regard for the environment.

This problem is not only limited to the rural areas, as even the urban population is equally involved in littering. Health and safety drives, and other forms of awareness campaigns, detailing the cause-and-effect relationship between littering and the environment should be laid out for the general public so that people can make informed choices.

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