Garbage strewn at Sheetal Talao, a community hub, in Kurla West. Pic/Sayed Sameer Abedi
On August 1, mid-day highlighted issues of poorly maintained public toilets, irregular collection of garbage, contaminated water, and threats to operations of the international airport from slum pockets of Jari Mari, Kajupada and Bail Bazaar.
Things have allegedly taken a turn for the worse. Residents say the authorities have removed dumpsters, instead of putting out more. Garbage lies strewn on the streets, and is often tracked across lanes. Under the Swachh Bharat Abhiyaan, government and civic agencies are doing away with public dumpsters and are focusing on door-to-door garbage collection.
Sheetal Talao, a community hub that comes alive during Ganpati idol immersions, has been turned into a giant trash bin. Many people also defecate on the premises. The stench from the rotting garbage and faeces keeps locals away. Avinash Dharmadhikari, senior inspector of Saki Naka police station, says tighter, round-the-clock vigilance is in place to prevent trespassers from entering the premises of the airport.
Roshan Jaiswal Resident of Nehru Nagar
Kurla needs more dustbins. Instead of providing more dumpsters, the BMC has taken away even the old ones. Bins can help keep an area clean. The BMC repaired roads after the monsoon.
Shaikh Alam Resident of Kurla
The BMC has always ignored our area. We don’t have a single garbage bin. So, many people just chuck waste in Sheetal Talao. We had a garbage bin near the SBI branch in the locality, but it was removed a few months ago.
Dr Saeeda Khan, Shikshak Nagar
The decision to remove garbage bins has hit the area hard. In my area alone, three dumpsters were taken away. But garbage is collected from residences only once a day.
Lalita Annamalai Jari Mari, Kurla
We have asked the ward office to return dumpsters. There is only one public toilet in the area, and that too in a shambles. Its repairs are set to begin soon.
Ajitkumar B Ambi, Assistant municipal commissioner
We have Rs3 lakh in meeting hygiene and cleanliness standards. Still, if we have fallen short in our efforts, we will work on improving the conditions. This month, we removed 56 dumpsters and are planning to return a few based on the feedback received.
Anil Galgali, RTI activist
Little has improved in the ward in the last 20 years. Most of Kurla has slum shanties. Civic authorities must keep in mind that the garbage from a slum is different from that of other residential pockets. No major issue has been resolved. For years now, Kurla has been facing mudslips, poor transport facilities and garbage being littered on roads.
Kurla West, Nehru Nagar, Jari Mari, Chandivli