Kolkata: Citizens may have to shell out a maximum fine of Rs 1 lakh for littering in public places, as the West Bengal Assembly passed a Bill to enhance the penalty for offenders. Also Read - Eye on 2019 polls, Trinamool plans Derek O'Brien's quiz contests in Bengal schools, colleges

The penalty has been raised through an amendment to section 338 of the Kolkata Municipal Corporation (second amendment) Act which was passed in the Assembly Thursday. Also Read - Will form coalition with anyone wanting to work for betterment of Sikkim: Bhaichung Bhutia

The move comes after Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee expressed her displeasure after finding out the newly inaugurated Dakshineswar skywalk was stained with betel juice. Also Read - Assembly passes bills increasing fine for throwing waste

The Bill proposed to impose a minimum fine of Rs 5,000 and a maximum penalty of Rs 1 lakh fine on litterbugs.

The earlier law stipulated that the minimum penalty for dumping garbage was Rs 50 and the maximum fine was Rs 5,000.

It also came on a day, state Urban Development Municipal Affairs Minister Firhad Hakim was elected the new mayor of Kolkata after the exit of Sovan Chatterjee, on the directions of Chief Minister and TMC chief Mamata Banerjee.

Banerjee had formed an 11-member committee on Wednesday to check spitting and littering in public places.

Hakim said he will take up a major awareness drive to keep the city clean.

A senior citizen, who did not wish to be named, said: “The city had earlier failed to impose a fine of Rs 50 for littering, I am not sure how effective it will be this time.”