Mumbai: Juhu Koliwada washed out by garbage pile
The beach chokes on garbage from the sea; repeated pleas to civic body go unheard
The efforts of hordes of volunteers, who diligently visit Juhu Beach every morning to assist the licensed BMC contractor collect garbage, is literally being washed into the sea.
On Saturday afternoon, when mid-day visited the south west corner of Juhu Koliwada, towards Khar, there were mounds of plastic and other refuse spread over an area of 1,000 sq mt and measuring up to four feet. Ideally, this ought to have been segregated and taken to the nearest BMC dumping ground, but it was left to the mercy of the high tide.
A sea of trash
Larson Fernandes, a local activist temporarily based in Colombo, said he had complained to all the civic heads (mid-day has a copy of the mail) about the situation. "The sea is reclaiming the plastic, which defeats the very purpose of the exercise, because the same will be subsequently washed ashore. The clean-up drive becomes a never-ending story with zero results," he said.
Vishwanath Dandekar, from the local Koli community, said, "This is a natural phenomena, and the best time to collect solid pollutants in an eco-friendly way, but what we see here is just a mockery of the Juhu Beach clean-up initiative," he said.
On the other side
Taking note of the situation, local MLA Ameet Satam said he would be instructing the local BMC ward to take prompt action and ensure that rubbish is collected on a priority basis. "Now that this issue has been brought to my notice, it shall be resolved at the earliest," he assured.
BMC assistant commissioner Prashant Gaikvad of K West Ward said that sheer volume of garbage that had accumulated could not be handled by the staff and two dumpers. "We sanctioned five more dumpers and would be in a position to clean the beach completely," he said. When mid-day contacted Suraj Gonsalves, the authorised BMC contractor, he shirked responsibility, claiming he was only appointed two weeks ago and the mountain of garbage was left behind by a previous contractor. "My boys are going out of their way to help resolve the situation," he said.
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