Mumbai: Here's how Bandra-Khar-Santacruz residents cleaned up their act
Even as the city struggles to handle its garbage problem and rubbish continues to spill over onto our streets and pavements, residents and municipal workers in the H/West ward have joined hands to clear their area of rubbish and make it a sparkling model of cleanliness.
15 to 20 metric tonnes of garbage would be dumped in the open at this point in Khira Nagar Industrial Estate every day, but the area is sparkling clean now
Just by reducing the number of garbage dumping points in Bandra, Khar road and Santacruz from 72 to 65, and initiating door-to-door waste collection, residents have ensured an end to littering in the localities. Since last year, the BMC, assisted by citizens, has been making efforts to improve waste management in the area.
Here, like in the rest of the city, people would litter everywhere, and several unauthorised dumping points had sprouted over the decades, spoiling the natural beauty of the area. Near the TB hospital at Khar Road (West), there was one such point near the public toilet where garbage had been collecting for the past 40 years.
But, a few months ago, the BMC successfully cleared the area. Now, instead of rubbish, the toilet is surrounded by lush plants. At Khira Nagar Industrial Estate, 15 to 20 metric tonnes of garbage would be dumped in the open every day, but this has all been removed as well.
Likewise, illegal garbage dumping has been stopped at Nilambari, Sherli Rajan village, Bandra, Khar road 19th, ONGC colony in Bandra and Maru Aai Mandir road.
How it happened
“First we started an awareness programme with a request to not litter in the open, and later provided enough dustbins in the slums and societies.
Many people do not want to litter, but since they can’t find a dustbin, they throw garbage on roads or streets,” said Chandrakant Tambe, a Junior Overseas (JO) officer from the Solid Waste Management (SWM) department of the H/West ward.
The corporation then began door-to-door collection of rubbish, so that more than 40 residential societies could avail of this direct service. “We started house-to-house collection, which helped a lot, since the garbage began to be collected from the source, putting an end to littering,” Tambe said.
“After cleaning the different spots, we appointed staff to keep check on those who are throwing garbage there. Those found littering were requested by our staff not to do so,” he added.
Around the same time, the civic body’s Advanced Locality Management (ALM) programme which enlists the local residential associations’ involvement in initiatives worked to persuade residents to start composting waste in their societies.
The final step in the programme once a dumping point had been cleared and residents were made aware of it was to beautify the area with plants, so that people were motivated to keep it clean.
They did it, so can you!
>> H/West ward achieved 90 per cent door-to-door collection and 100 per cent in Khira Nagar
>> Garbage dumping points were reduced from 72 to 65
>> These dumping areas were first cleaned up and equipped with dustbins
>> Locals were made aware of the need to maintain cleanliness
>> The areas were then beautified to discourage others from littering
>> On Saturday, the ward office organised a ‘Litter-free road’ programme with help of 200-odd college students who performed street plays, and distributed posters and pamphlets for awareness