Heavy new penalties for littering and waste

Littering and illegal disposal of garbage will be levied heavy fines according to the amended Waste Prevention and Management Rules.

This was done following the national cleaning campaign held on December 9 to commemorate a decade of His Majesty’s Reign.

Agriculture and Forest minister Yeshey Dorji said such stern provisions was seen as vital for proper management of garbage.

The minister who is also the chairperson of National Environment Commission said the Department of Forest and Park Services (DoFPS) conducted an awareness campaign in commercial and rural areas about the penalties under Waste Prevention and Management Regulation 2012.

“Forest officials will monitor all places and highways in timely basis and fine people found littering,” the minister said.

In addition Lyonpo said that NEC’s new strategy is to reward informants of illegal waste dumping 50 percent of the penalty amount collected from the offender.

The new amended rule also prohibits smearing lime and spitting doma in the public area and non-compliance is a penalty of Nu 100.

Display of poster/stickers/bills/banners without approval from Thromde will also attract a fine of ngultrum 500 a poster.

Similarly, failure to clean the area after organizing a program would result in a fine of Nu 5,000 and failure to provide bins for collection and segregation during public events under section 90.1 would be penalised Nu. 2,000.

Individuals failing to maintain bins under section 90.2 would be penalized with Nu. 1,000 and washing of vehicles or machineries in a river, stream, lake, pond, wetland or at a drinking water source will be penalized Nu. 1,000.

The new rule also prohibits open burning of inorganic waste where waste management system or facilities are in place and non-compliance is a penalty of Nu 1,000.

An official with the Forest Information and Management Service of the department, Ugyen Tshering, said the new rule is aimed at maintaining cleanliness after the national cleaning campaign was conducted where tons of garbage was collected from various sites across the country.  He said forest officials alone collected about 80 truckloads of garbage from state reserve forest across the country.

“The addition of seven conditions in the Waste Prevention and Management rules is to deter people from littering without restraint,” Ugyen Tshering said. “The field forest offices are empowered to strictly regulate and impose fines as per the Waste Prevention and Management Regulation 2012.”

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