Thiruvananthapuram: Ever heard of imposing ban orders to fight spread of viral infections like dengue?
The district administration here has done exactly that to tackle the situation after outbreak of various types of viral fever, including dengue, with the onset of South West monsoon.
District Collector KN Sateesh enforced prohibitory orders under Section 144 of CrPC on Friday to enable hassle-free movement of garbage and take to task those throwing waste wantonly, causing public health problems.
Under the orders, anyone dumping waste in public will face stringent action, including arrest and non-bailable charges.
The measure is mainly meant against illegal slaughter houses, vegetable vendors and way-side eateries, who throw waste generated by them around without public concern.
"We issued orders using legal provisions which empowers the Collector to impose Sec. 144 whenever public health is threatened. We can apply it in special situations like this other than law and order. Our move is against piling up waste in public places and causing health concerns to society," Satheesh said.
He said a large portion of waste dumped on streets is not generated by households but by commercial establishments, especially slaughter houses. "All illegal butcher shops in the district limit will be sealed. Authorised shops not disposing waste scientifically will be penalised," he said.
Those forcefully trying to stop the garbage movement by the City Corporation or Shuchitva Mission (cleanliness mission) would also be nabbed, he said.
On increase in dengue cases in the area, Satheesh said, "As of now, there is no reason to panic. But it will worsen if nothing is done to tackle the garbage problem."
Garbage clearance has virtually come to a standstill for about six months with people in the panchayat where the processing plant is located opposed to its presence. The panchayat locked it up in December, saying it posed a serious health threat to the locality.
This has forced households to dispose waste by burning it in limited surroundings or dumping it in their backyards.