Oh, crap! 560 kg liquor bottles collected from waterfall near Mumbai
NGO cleaning up Kondeshwar waterfall, 55 km from Mumbai, finds 700 kg trash in just 30% of total tourist spot area. 120 volunteers cleaned up the waste, 560 kg of which comprised empty liquor bottles, in one day
Kondeshwar waterfall is a popular weekend getaway spot. Representation Pic
The verdict’s in: We’re despicable picnickers. A group of volunteers from Environment Life picked up 700kg of trash yesterday from the vicinity of Kondeshwar temple and waterfall in Badlapur, a popular tourist spot 55 km from the city. Of this, 560kg comprised empty liquor bottles.
Around 120 environment lovers, trekkers and NSS volunteers, guided by NGO Environment Life, rolled up their sleeves and got down to picking up picnickers’ waste yesterday.
Volunteers at the cleanliness drive
Dharmesh Barai, head coordinator of Environment Life, said 80% of the waste comprised liquor bottles. “We have managed to clean up only 30% of the area near the temple. It’s likely that there is much more litter around, but we are short on manpower for such a gigantic clean-up.”
The trash collected from the vicinity of Kondeshwar temple and waterfall in Badlapur
He cautioned that the rampant littering should not be taken lightly. “Glass bottles can cause accidents as well as injure animals that drink out of the waterfall,” he warned, with others raising a red flag over drinking and getting into the water.
Barai recommended that the Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation (MTDC) and the Maharashtra Pollution Control Board (MPCB) put up warning boards prohibiting consumption of liquor at tourist spots and initiate action against violators.
Local BJP leader Sambhaji Shinde backed the demand. “I will take the matter up with relevant authorities,” he said. He hoped the NGO would organise regular cleanliness drives in Kondeshwar. “Next time, we will try to rope in locals to help out as well.”
Chandrakant Jaiswal, deputy general manager of MTDC, who also heads the Swachh Bharat Mission cell, lauded the volunteers’ selflessness. “We partnered with them on this drive to encourage citizens to take responsibility of their locality’s upkeep.
We will give participants appreciation certificates to acknowledge their effort.” He said the MTDC organises frequent cleanliness campaigns across tourist spots in Maharashtra.
In March this year, the Centre had directed states to start levying fines for littering, open defecation and public urination by April 30, ranging between Rs 200 and Rs 5,000.
On October 2, the group cleaned up Anandwadi, Jummpatti and Tapalwadi waterfalls in Neral, Zenith and Chinchoti waterfalls in Khopoli and Pandavkada waterfall in Kharghar, Navi Mumbai.
Kg of trash cleared from the six waterfalls cleaned on Oct 2
Number of volunteers at the Oct clean-up drive
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