BMC organises workshop to spread Swachh message

Week-long initiative to educate adults and children on waste management

In an effort to come up with a long-term solution to Mumbai’s cleanliness woes, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) will engage with citizens through a week-long workshop which will commence on November 14, celebrated as Children’s Day. The workshop will draw to an end on World Toilet’s Day which falls on November 19.

Mumbai Mayor Snehal Ambekar cleans up a street at Prabhadevi as part of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan on Saturday. pic/ATUL KAMBLE
Mumbai Mayor Snehal Ambekar cleans up a street at Prabhadevi as part of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan on Saturday. Pic/Atul Kamble

Besides educating masses on the importance of cleanliness, the BMC will also ask citizens, through various awareness drives, to email their suggestions to a special ID managed by the Solid Waste Management (SWM) department.

The BMC will also observe a ‘Swachhta’ week, wherein children from BMC schools will be educated on waste management and littering. While drawing inspiration from a city renowned for its cleanliness like Singapore which, the BMC claims, had its own share of garbage and cleanliness-related issues almost 25 years ago, the civic body believes that Mumbai can follow in the city’s footsteps. The body has also decentralised the department so that all BMC departments (and not only the SWM department) will share responsibility.

In addition to this, the BMC will focus on segregating waste and surveying areas with a heavy footfall, to gauge where more bins need to be installed. The aim will be to convert such areas into ‘zero garbage areas’. Almost 6.5 lakh notices that spread awareness about disposing waste in trash cans and bins have been distributed to shopkeepers. Issues such as the lack of adequate toilets in the city and poor maintenance will be emphasised on.

Vikas Kharge, the additional municipal commissioner, said, “There is a need to have a huge plan that can be implemented and worked on by everybody in the city. We have started with ‘Shramdaan’, which means that everyone needs to dedicate at least two hours from their week to cleaning up a street or a marketplace. When done on a regular basis, this can have a huge effect on the city.”

“We will also educate children on the importance of a garbage-free city and will also emphasise on constructing new toilets in the city, while maintaining the existing ones. Every department will be given a set of duties. The decentralisation of powers ensures that everyone is responsible for changing Mumbai into a cleaner city,” he added.

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