Denizens call for strict enforcement of IPA ‘Swachhta’ laws to achieve Clean India target

Report by: 
EOI Bureau
Port Blair
3 May 2018

There can’t be two opinions on the importance of cleanliness. A clean country means healthy citizens and is always a motivation for her people. Prime Minister, Mr Narendra Modi, declaring cleanliness as his highest priority, launched project Swachh Bharat Mission aiming for a Clean India by 2019. The administration followed the suit with almost all government and organisations pledging and launching cleanliness drives in various parts of these islands. The Municipal Council of Port Blair announced the city to be Open Defecation Free in 2017 while rural pockets in different districts of this territory are fast approaching the deadline to achieve the status.  To complement the initiative, the Andaman and Nicobar Police in 2014 announced enforcement of Section 34(5) and 34(7) of the Indian Police Act (IPA), 1861 to ensure effective implementation of the Swachh Bharat Campaign. The force may be enforcing the law stringently, but the endeavour is probably losing its sheen if lack of publicity towards imposing the rule is any indication.

                “Around three years have passed since the enforcement of the IPA law; but the Andaman and Nicobar Police has hardly issued any press releases indicating the number of persons fined for violating the regulation, which is a must to achieve Swachh Bharat by 2019. For instance, the civic body has announced Port Blair to be open defecation free, but a round along the shores at Junglighat and Dairyfarm during early morning hours will reveal the ground status. It’s hard to assume that islanders have renounced their ‘bad’ habits in totality. Changes are visible, but scenes of garbage dumps, people staining the streets with pan stains, open urination still rule some parts of the city and suburbs,” said a Dairyfarm resident.

“After launch of the Swachh Bharat Mission, many organisations committed themselves for the cause and the Andaman and Nicobar Police rightly announced the enforcement of the IPA regulations as its implementation was imperative to achieve dream of a Clean India. But cleanliness should come from the hearts of people; starting from their homes, becoming a habit; manifesting itself as a clean and healthy society. But old habits die hard, according to a popular adage. Enforcement of stricter laws is a must to achieve the ‘Swachhta’ target. Inspite of the enforcement of the laws, many instances can be noticed where citizens are found throwing garbage at undesignated places. Similarly, people spitting on the roads is a common sight in these islands. The Police should enforce the law strictly and impose penalty on people violating it. Violation of the Swacchta laws with names of violaters should also be publicized through the local media so that it serves as a deterrent for others,” said some others.

Section 34(5) and 34(7) of the Indian Police Act (IPA), 1861 provides for fine or imprisonment with or without hard labour upto eight days by a Magistrate and he/she can be taken into custody without any warrant by any police  officer for acts of any person, who throws or lays down any dirt, filth, rubbish or any stones or building materials, or who constructs any cowshed , stable or the like, or who causes any offensive  matter to run from any house, factory, during heap or the like. Further, the acts of any person who wilfully and indecently exposes his person, or any offensive deformity or disease, or commits nuisance by easing himself, or by bathing or washing in any tank or reservoir not being a place set apart from that purpose as stipulated under Section 34(7) of Indian Police Act, 1861 also envisages the said fine or imprisonment.