Mumbai: BMC collects Rs 70,500 from owners for not cleaning their pet's poop
Residents of Napean Sea Road, Carmichael Road, Peddar Road and Altamount Road cop fines of Rs 40,000 for not cleaning up after their pooches; Bandra second with Rs 30,500
Fed up of dog owners not getting their pets' crap together, the BMC has decided to drop a deuce on them — through fines. The BMC started levying fines from early December 2018, and in less than a month, collected the highest amount of poop penalties from the D ward (Malabar Hill and Napean Sea Road) and H West ward (Bandra and Santa Cruz), cumulatively amounting to Rs 70,500.
BMC took up the drive on December 3 to ensure dog owners or walkers clean up after their dogs and stop littering in public spaces. This action came on civic chief Ajoy Mehta's directions. In less than a month, the highest number of crappy offenders were observed from two of Mumbai's most coveted neighbourhoods.
BMC officials have been warning dog owners about cleaning up properly after their pets
A single offence amounts to a fine of R500. Speaking about D ward, Vishwas Mote, assistant municipal commissioner of D ward, said, "We've collected around R40,000 in fines since December 12 [to December 31]. Most of the cases were detected on Napean Sea Road, Carmichael Road, Pedder Road and Altamount Road. There are at least 1,500 pet dogs in D ward." Similarly, at H West ward, the other top offender, 61 cases have been reported so far, netting R30,500 in fines from areas including Bandstand, Carter Road and Mount Mary.
The fines follow a series of measures taken by the civic body to get dog owners and walkers in line. Apart from handing out pamphlets and putting up hoardings near residential buildings, BMC officials of the D ward even reached out individually to dog owners and walkers in their database.
A BMC official requests a dog owner to pick up their pet's poop
Mote said they also conducted an event to showcase different kinds of devices used to scoop dog poop. Despite all the efforts, people have come up with doggone ways of wriggling out of picking up their pet's waste. "Some people would pick up the waste with tissue paper and then throw it under a car or between two vehicles. But we would spot it on the CCTV cameras and send them a notice to pay the fine at the ward office," said an official from D ward who accompanies cleanup marshals.
Get the scoop
At many wards, civic officials said, people are reluctant to even invest in a poop scooper, which would cost around R70-100 and prefer to use a newspaper instead. "As per the norms, dog owners are supposed to dispose their pet's poop in their own sewerage system. We keep encouraging them to invest in a scooper, and have even given the contact details of companies that offer a home delivery service. A few people are gradually starting to use scoopers, but a majority are still using tissue paper or newspapers," said an official from the solid waste management department in H West ward.
Officials from the civic body have also been encouraging owners to invest in poop scoopers, which cost no more than Rs 100
Civic officials at A ward, where 21 such cases have been reported so far, are facing issue another issue. Kiran Dighavkar, assistant municipal commissioner of A ward said, "After the clean up marshals started fining people at Marine Drive, the dog owners and walkers have started walking their dogs in the inner roads (A, B, C, D roads). This has become a nuisance for the residents living in those lanes." Barring Marine Drive, a majority of the cases were detected at Cuffe Parade.
There was also the odd case where a dog owner refused to pay the fine at A ward. Civic officials said that when they confronted him, he picked up a fight and refused to pay. They then sent a notice to his residence and asked him to pay the fine. Civic officials, however, unanimously felt that the number of repeat offenders were low. While many people complied with the rules after receiving one warning, most of those who were fined once didn't repeat the mistake.
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