The BMC has failed to prevent people from defecating in the open all over the city. Pic/ Nimesh Dave

The BMC will now crack down on those defecating in the open with the help of mukadams (Class IV workers overseeing project works on ground) and the solid waste management department's junior overseers (JOs). It has now authorised them to slap a fine of Rs 100 on offenders. The order has been issued by BMC chief Ajoy Mehta to all deputy municipal commissioners.

The move came after 753 clean-up marshals, deployed in December last year to rein in the unsightly practice across Mumbai, failed to stop open defecation.

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The BMC also set up 362 toilets in troublesome areas -- like Malad, the end of Worli Sea Face, Mahim, Bandra and Bhandup -- in the last six months, but this plan also failed.

According to civic officials, there are around 500 JOs and nearly 2,000 mukadams in the 24 administrative wards.

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An official from the municipal commissioner's office said besides empowering JOs and mukadams, assistant municipal commissioners of wards have been given a fund of R10 lakh each to create awareness on the hazards of open defecation. "As per the Centre's order, the BMC has to provide toilets at every 500 m. If people are still caught defecating in the open, they can then be penalised."

Another official said the toilets have failed in preventing open defecation. "With the help of JOs and mukadams, we will be able to cover more areas."

Prior to deploying clean-up marshals, the BMC took out a massive anti-open defecation drive and even roped in Bollywood star Salman Khan as brand ambassador. It earned brickbats after it declared the city open defecation-free last December while slipping down 20 spots from nine in 2016 on the Swachh Bharat cleanliness rankings, declared this May.