If you spit on the road and no clean-up marshal rushes to fine you, don’t be surprised. The BMC has neither renewed their contracts nor is in the mood for it
While on one hand, Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Swachh Bharat campaign has kicked off with much pomp and show, Mumbai is all set to lose its clean-up marshals. The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation has decided not to renew the contract of the 720 clean-up marshals in the city.
The clean-up marshal scheme has been under the scanner for a while as there have been reports of corruption and misconduct against them. The programme, introduced in 2006 by the BMC, also found opposition with the civic corporators, who allege that the clean-up marshals often fine people irrationally.
The corporators also claim that deploying of clean-up marshals was a way for the civic body to earn extra revenue, as the BMC collects approximately R5 crore from them annually. The rules of the administration clearly state that the security agencies, that are given the contracts of clean-up marshals need to be certified by police stations but many raise questions on whether they are certified or not.
However, the BMC claims that they have not renewed the contracts of the clean-up marshals as they have now placed 1,500 litter bins across the city and so, there is no need for the former. Prakash Patil, Deputy Municipal Commissioner told sunday mid-day, “As it is, we were in the process of terminating their services, so we didn’t renew their contract once it got over. We have purchased 5,000 litter bins and are in the process of installing them across the city. We will also come up with awareness campaigns to increase the civic sense of the citizens.”