Idukki: Vandiperiyar Grama Panchayat in Idukki district has announced a cash prize for informers who help to identify people dumping waste in public places.
The governing council of the panchayat that met on Wednesday approved Rs 2,500 as a cash prize for people who click photographs or record videos of waste dumping. The penalty for dumping waste in public can go up to Rs 50,000.
“Out panchayat conducted several drives to clear the waste dumped on roadsides, in which ward members, Haritha Karma Sena members, and local residents took part. However, we noticed that all these places which were cleared of waste have been filled again with litter, and that has prompted us to come up with this scheme to give cash prizes for informers,” Vandiperiyar Panchayat president K M Usha told Onmanorama.
Haritha Karma Sena is a Kudumbashree initiative to collect waste from households.
Usha said the photographic and videographic evidence on waste dumping could be handed over to the secretary of the panchayat or WhatsApped to the civic body.
“As the Kottarakara-Dindigul national highway passes through Vandiperiyar, several vehicles travel between Kerala and Tamil Nadu carrying vegetables and other commodities. Waste from vehicles is found dumped on deserted places along the national highway,” Usha said.
The Vandiperiyar panchayat has a few tourist attractions namely Paruthumpara, Mount and Sathram. The panchayat has also decided to install CCTV, by spending Rs 2 lakh, to catch waste dumpers. “The first priority is to install cameras in Kakkikavala en route Gavi which is the worst affected due to disposing of garbage in the open,” an official with the panchayat said.
The panchayat official added that CCTV would be installed at Kaithapetta Valavu, Annan Thambi Maram (near Take a Break rest centre), Vanidperiyar Main Bridge, 62 Valarvadi and Nellimala, in two weeks.
The state government aims to declare Kerala as garbage-free by March next year and some local bodies claim to have achieved it.