Swachh Bharat: You and Your Dog, Who Will Scoop the Poop?
As part of its job to keep the national Capital clean, the municipal corporations have come up with yet another notification of penalising pet owners if their pets are found littering public places in Delhi. This obviously was prompted by the nation-wide launch of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan. Sanitary officials will be deployed at various locations and they will challan the erring owners of pets. However, before implementing the order, the corporations will try to raise the awareness of the people on the issue. The penalty will be hefty amounts so as to deter the offenders.
It is a common sight to see dog owners taking their dogs out in the early mornings or late evenings or anytime they like to respond to their nature’s call on the roads and making the roads filthy. This regular practice of dogs’ peeing or shitting on the roads as well as inside residential complexes has to stop.
It is time now that the owners should know how to handle the poo habits of their pets and at the same time take proper responsibility of their pets. Let it be loudly known that it is just not tolerable to let the pets out to litter on the roads, let alone other nuisances to the neighbourhood and even threat to others’ life emanating from these dogs and their stylish lovers.
This is not the first time that corporations have issued a notice for imposing penalties on pet owners with regard to the filthiness caused by their pets on the roads. Several notices were issued earlier also to deter people from littering the city by spitting, urinating and throwing garbage. But these could not implemented.
Cleanliness and sanitation bylaws, 2013
In September 2013, the corporations had sent a draft of Delhi cleanliness and sanitation bylaws. So far the Delhi Government has not taken any steps to implement it. The corporations are now urging the Government to approve the draft as soon as possible so that stern measures can be adopted to make the city clean and litter-free and make the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan a success by 2019.
According to the draft of the bylaws, spitting, defecating and bathing in public places would call for big penalties from municipal officials who would issue challans on the spot to the offenders. Once the sanitation bylaws come into effect, hefty challans will be imposed on all those who dirty the roads.
Cleanliness and sanitation bylaws, 2009
Similarly, there was also the Delhi cleanliness and sanitation bylaws 2009 drafted which called for a fine ranging from Rs 50 to Rs 500 for littering on roads, and also fines for spitting, urinating, washing utensils and bathing in public places and not keeping residential service lanes clean. However, this was not approved by the then Government.
At present, the penalty amount is very minimal. In fact, it has remained the same for a very long time. These amounts fixed under the Delhi Municipal Corporation (DMC) Act, 1957, have not been raised for the past 53 years now and therefore won’t act as any deterrent for Delhiites to stop littering, spitting etc.
An anti-litter law was drafted in 2011 also and this too was also not approved by Delhi Government.
If the new bylaws 2013 is be implemented, the fines will go up to thousands of rupees for some offences. Maybe this would stop Delhiites from littering on the roads.
What is the practice in other countries?
In most countries, littering on the roads by pets is banned. Pet owners take full responsibility of keeping the roads litter-free by keeping the pets on leash while walking on the roads, carrying a bag with them to take the pet’s faeces on the roads back home for disposal. In fact, in countries like Japan, the owners also carry with them a water bottle to wash the area where the pet urinates.
What can be done here?
- Regarding the pet’s faeces, the people of Delhi should start developing the habit of carrying bags with them to carry the faeces back home for disposal. Dump the contents into the toilet and flush.
- Also, in housing complexes, pet defecation areas should be within the premises. The owners should train their pets to defecate in the slotted place only.
- Bury the waste and let it be transformed to a natural compost.
- Efforts can also be taken to use a poop collection service like in some other countries to pick it up from your housing complex or homes.
- But, yes, this requires the joint efforts of all the pet owners in a community along with the resident welfare association.
The big question
Some people say cleanliness should come from within. Because the mother of all dirt resides within. They say enforcement of laws and fines have failed. They say the people must come forward to stay clean and maintain cleanliness on their own! Any city, they say, will be a much better and cleaner place to live in if each and every individual promises the following:
- not to urinate, defecate or bathe in the open
- not to spit on the roads
- not to throw litter or garbage on the roads
- not to litter the roads with pet’s shit
- to maintain cleanliness of himself, his family and the community he lives in.
Has such things ever worked? If yes, let’s apply it to all types of crimes and scams!
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