Inspectors will soon roam the streets of Thimphu looking for violators 

Thromde: Chewing doma will soon be an expensive habit! This is not because the cost of doma is shooting, but those chewers smearing lime on poles or spitting the juice in open public space will be penalized.

The Thimphu Thromde has proposed smearing of lime on poles, spitting doma juice, sticking posters to be included in the list of offence that could be penalized with monetary fines. The National Environment Commission (NEC) has approved it and the thromde will implement the new rule within this month.

Smearing of lime and spitting of doma in public places come with a fine of Nu 100, while sticking of posters, stickers, bills, banners, among others without thromde’s approval will be fined Nu 500.

The Thromde’s head of solid waste management division, Yeshi Wangdi said the commission has approved the proposal. He said they will implement the rule as soon as the Waste Prevention and Management Regulation, 2012, book is printed and distributed to stakeholders.

Thimphu thromde inspectors will start monitoring the city later this month. The thromde had authorized Greener Way to implement, monitor and penalize offenders with an arrangement where Greener Way could keep 50 percent of the fine collected. The implementation was outsourced to Greener Way as the thromde has only limited inspectors, Yeshi Wangdi said.  “We are also discussing with other relevant stakeholders to help us in monitoring,” Yeshi Wangdi said.

Meanwhile, open burning of construction or municipal waste and failure to clean the area after organizing a programme will be fined Nu 1,000 and Nu 5,000 respectively.

Despite the Waste Prevention and Management Regulation having lists of offences and penalties for illegal waste dumping, offenders were rarely penalized.

Littering at any public places, dumping of waste in places other than approved sites, sale of goods and services on the streets and pedestrian walkways without approval, urinating or defecating in a public places, among others are some of the offences.

The thromde will notify the public through media so that people are aware of the new rules and regulations. There are no clear rules and regulations restricting pasting posters on building walls and pillars, so it is important that people are made aware, Yeshi Wangdi said.

Property owners could lodge complaints to thromde if they see people smearing lime, spitting doma juice and pasting posters on their property.

According to a NEC notification, 50 percent of the penalty amount collected from the offender will be given to the informant of illegal waste dumping.

The notification says that the proposal to reward the informant is put forth by the stakeholders as to engage the general public in assisting the regulatory authorities that would ultimately lead to attending a clean and waste free society.

The Thromde had recently notified vendors and hawkers to refrain from crowding public places. The number of people selling goods on the streets and pedestrian walkways is also on the rise, causing congestion of traffic and blocking free passage for the pedestrians, said the notification. It warns of monetary fines of Nu 1,000 per instance.

Dechen Tshomo