Residents of ward number 41 can finally heave a fresh sigh of relief. In a joint effort by the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation and Malad area’s local corporator Vinod Shelar, the year-old garbage-free drive has borne fruit. Ward no 41 in Malad extends from Poddar Road to Govind Nagar and Nadiadwala compound to the State Bank of India colony.
The cleanliness drive, Kachra Mukt Abhyaan, which was started in April last year, targeted over 32 spots in the ward where garbage had been piling. In order to avoid further dumping, volunteers from the programme planted trees. The frequency of collection of garbage was also increased.
However, it was noticed that despite best efforts people still continued dumping waste. In order to solve this problem, corporator Shelar arranged for garbage pick-up vans to make rounds even at night. “There were places where there were no garbage bins, whereas 12 places had no dattak basti (a garbage disposal service). We distributed 120 new bins for collection. We published 20,000 pamphlets and distributed them among the citizens to create awareness,” said Shelar.
After many plaints
Residents were fed up of problems such as overflowing garbage bins, lack of bins and lack of timely clearing of garbage, all of which are to be provided by the BMC. The absence of trashcans in some residential societies has resulted in dumping of waste on streets and crossroads, and practically any open space.
The problem has amplified during the rains, with the filth clogging drains and becoming breeding grounds for disease-spreading mosquitoes, flies and other insects.
“In other wards, the initiative is taken by the municipal corporation while in this case the work is being done by the local corporator. Shelar has made good use of the resources provided by the corporation,” said Vijay Balamwar, deputy municipal commissioner.
“We complained many times to the BMC’s solid waste management department but sadly nothing was done. But now due to this initiative the garbage has been removed and the hospital surroundings are in a better condition,” said an official from SW Desai Hospital in the area.
I have been running this café for the past 11 months but people didn’t want to eat here because of the foul smell. They assumed that the food I served was unhygienic. Now the number of customers has increased, as there is hardly any garbage.
-- Ratna Shetty, cafeteria owner
Garbage is still being dumped here and people even defecate in this area. What is the point of setting up bins when garbage is around it? It stinks badly and it’s even difficult to sit here.
-- Ajay Shukla, of Shukla dairy farm at Haji Bapu Road