Chhimi Dema

The National Environment Commission secretariat (NECS) will enforce the revised penalties for waste offences including naming and shaming on social media platforms for violators and incentives for incident reporters from today.

The revised fines increased by more than 100 percent for some offences.

NEC’s chief of waste management, Thinley Dorji, said that the secretariat received comments from implementors such as the dzongkhags or gewog administrations that the waste penalty was too less. He said that some people were violating the regulations knowing that the fines were not substantial.

For example, people were disposing of the construction waste nearby saying they are saving the hassle of going to Memelakha.

Thinley Dorji said, “Some penalties increased by three or four times above the old rates.”

For dumping or releasing wastes in the environment, the penalty was previously Nu 500, and now it is Nu 5,000 for the first offence. It goes to Nu 10,000 for the second offence and Nu 15,000 for the third offence.

Individuals who provide false information or distorted information are fined Nu 5,000 for the first offence as well.

NECS included new fines whereby construction units failing to prevent spillage of any waste including construction materials and excavated soil during transportation would have to pay a fine of Nu 10,000. Individuals or companies failing to provide three colour-coded waste storage facilities or bins at construction sites would have to pay Nu 5,000.

Individuals failing to cooperate with officers on duty will be fined Nu 5,000 on the first offence.

In the revised penalties, people are fined for repeated offences.

Thinley Dorji said that the intention of the revision is not to earn revenue but to deter people from illegal dumping.

Another aspect of the revision of the penalties is naming and shaming on social media platforms.

People reporting improper waste management–after the agency or administration validating– it would receive 30 percent of the penalty amount.

Dzongkhags or thromdes would receive certificates for the cleanest dzongkhag or thromde on World Environment Day. Three dzongkhags for poor waste management would be put for naming and shaming on social media platforms.