Bengaluru: Rs 30 a month — that’s the minimum service fee the BBMP has proposed to levy on citizens for the collection and disposal of garbage, provided it gets approval from the state government.
A majority of the 46 lakh households — that will come under the civic body’s proposed plan — may have to cough up Rs 60 or Rs 100 a month.
The fee structure has been arrived at on the basis of monthly electricity consumption, and comes at a time when the BBMP does not have an elected body.
Apart from houses, over 6.32 lakh commercial establishments are expected to come under the proposed fee net. The move aims to fetch Rs 72.39 crore a month.
The civic body also believes that electricity consumption is a more appropriate way of assessing the volume of waste generated in a household or building, unlike the property tax.
For collecting the fee, the BBMP wants to take the help of Bescom by providing a certain amount as service fee to the electricity board.
Last week, the BBMP’s solid waste management arm (BSWML) held a detailed meeting over the long-pending proposal of levying user fee both on domestic and commercial waste generators by taking the help of Bescom’s vast network of meter readers.
As per the draft plan, domestic users have been brought under six slabs, ranging between Rs 30 and Rs 500. Commercial waste generators will have to pay anywhere between Rs 75 and Rs 1,200 a month.
To back its proposal, the BBMP has cited cities such as New Delhi, Chennai, Mumbai, Pune, Indore and Tirupati where the concept of user fee for waste collection already exists. It has also referred to the recent high court order which did not bar the BBMP from collecting user fee as it already makes a mention in the Solid Waste Management Rules of 2016.
Deputy Chief Minister DK Shivakumar, who holds the Bengaluru Development portfolio, is expected to take the final call on levying user fee separately.
A senior BBMP officer said the concept of user fee is similar to what the BWSSB and Bescom follow in exchange for providing services. “So far, the user fee (cess) was a part of the property tax but it was so low that the cost incurred for solid waste related activities was 10 times more. This resulted in delayed payment to service providers including cleanliness staff,” he said.
Solid waste management expert Pinky Chandran said local bodies have been empowered to levy user free on waste generators.
“Charging fee is important but there are a lot of problems with the way solid waste is handled. The segregation of waste at source, which is the basic premise of waste management, is not enforced. Each area follows a different system. The garbage black spots are back. We are constantly looking for lands on the outskirts where waste can be dumped but this is not the right thing to do,” Chandran said.
Monthly electricity bill Users Proposed monthly user fee
Up to Rs 200 11.02 lakh Rs 30 Rs 200 – Rs.500 14.37 lakh Rs 60Rs 501 – Rs 1,000 10.57 lakh Rs 100 Rs 1,001 – Rs 2,000 7.36 lakh Rs 200 Rs 2,001 – Rs 3,000 1.80 lakh Rs 350Rs 3,001 & above 1.04 lakh Rs 500
(Published 13 November 2023, 21:38 IST)