How BMC marshals make a killing

Feb 09, 2012, 08:32 IST | Rane Ashish
On Monday, a day before the Bombay High Court restrained clean-up marshals from slapping fines on citizens, Rane Ashish captured some glaring instances of their rampant misuse of authority

BMC's clean-up marshals chose an obscure spot in Goregaon, smack bang in the middle of the Western Express Highway stretch between Bandra and Dahisar. There isn't a single public toilet in the entire expanse, which is lined by the Aarey wilderness, so they are usually confident that a few motorists will make pit stops to answer nature's call. Here's what happens next.

Un-Notice-able: They put up a tattered signboard in an inconspicuous
corner, which says that those caught urinating in public are liable to pay
a fine of Rs 200. The trap set, they lay
in ambush in the thickets nearby,
hoping that motorists desperate to relieve themselves won't notice the

Moving in for the Kill: Soon enough, a motorist draws up, frantic to
urinate. The fly in its web, the marshals close in, even as the hapless
motorist isn't quite finished. The clean-up marshals cite the warning on
the tattered signboard, and ask for cash.

Pay-off: Hushed negotiations follow, and soon the two parties part ways,
one richer at the other's expense. A clean-up marshal makes quite a
killing this way, 'earning' at least Rs 1,000 every day from several of his

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