BMC rakes in lakhs through fines for dumping trash in nullahs
About Rs 1,27,500 collected from four municipal wards since last week
Dumping trash in nullahs has cost hundreds of city residents Rs 200 each since last week. According to the civic body, the nuisance detection squads started fining people after spreading awareness for a week and have so far collected a total of Rs 1,27,500 from four of the 24 municipal wards.
The highest number of people were fined in M East ward , from where the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has collected Rs 83,000. The squads in G South have collected R24,000, F North R11,000 and N ward R9,500, said senior officials citing the date collected so far.
BMC Commissioner Praveen Pardeshi has said the aim of the drive is to bring about change in people's attitude towards sanitation. He said the BMC's main focus is areas around slums and near nullahs as people living there are the major reason for the problem.
"I have asked the Solid Waste Management Department to increase collection of solid waste from slum areas. We are aiming at behavioural change and punishment is not the objective here," he said.
Bhagyashree Kapse, assistant municipal commissioner of N ward, said, "We identified 19 areas in our ward where people throw garbage in the nine nullahs located there. The problem is that after the workers collect the garbage in the morning, people eat lunch and throw the trash into the nullahs. We have trained our workers to explain to them the importance of segregation." She added that people will be fined if they still go ahead and dump garbage in nullahs.
Another senior civic official said the nullahs are de-silted every year but it won't make any difference if people continue to choke these with waste, mostly non-recyclable. "The majority of the waste taken out of the nullahs is floating garbage that people throw in plastic bags mostly. There is no point of spending so much money in de-silting if this problem is not addressed first," said the official.
Water activist Amla Ruia speaks to mid-day