10:25am—A pile of wooden planks and cardboard boxes are left outside in the parking lot at the back of a hotel along Chang Lam.
Thromde sanitary inspectors meet with the hotel manager to confirm if the waste is from the hotel. It is. Queries follow. According to the offence and fine schedule of the Waste Prevention and Management Regulation 2016, the hotel is fined Nu 500.
Thromde inspectors yesterday fined 51 business owners and seven institutions in the Thromde for violating waste prevention and management regulation.
Similarly, a team of officials from the Waste Management Committee fined 79 business owners and four landlords for littering in the public places from the Thimphu Gate until Khasadrapchu satellite town.
The Waste Management Committee will henceforth enforce strict waste management system in the country.
The committee was formed this month with the issuance of an executive order by the Prime Minister.
The committee consists of officials from His Majesty’s Secretariat, Office of The Gyalpoi Zimpon, National Land Commission, Ministry of Works and Human Settlement, De-suung Office, Thimphu Dzongkhag, and National Environment Commission Secretariat.
The chair of the committee, Karma Yonten, also the head of the Office of Performance Management under His Majesty’s Secretariat, said that His Majesty The King mentioned that waste is a concern and that we need to take care of it. “The Waste Management Committee is created to see how we can improve the waste situation in the country.”
He said that so far, all the soft measures have been tried, awareness and mass cleaning, too, which were not very successful.
“Going forward, we need to take a much tougher approach; fining people for littering is only the best option,” Karma Yonten said.
The committee will review and recommend changes in policies, regulations and institutional structures to improve waste management practices in the country and explore suitable and environmentally-sound solutions to manage waste.
The committee will ensure that facilities, services, and incentives are provided to encourage better waste management practices and instil a sense of ownership in the public.
The National Environment Commission revised the waste offences and fine lists which will be implemented soon.
Three new offences applicable to all the dzongkhags, namely failure to prevent spillage of any waste, including construction materials and excavated soil, failure to provide three colour-coded waste storage facilities or bins at construction sites, and failure to co-operate with officers on duty, are liable for hefty fines.