Mumbai rains: Marshals will patrol nullahs this monsoon
Those found littering or dumping waste and plastic that clogs the streams will be penalised Rs 200. The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has initiated putting up nets at the mouths of several drains to stop garbage from entering the sea
Municipal Commissioner Praveen Pardeshi does not want to take any chances when it comes to monsoon preparedness. While his new diktat will have clean-up marshals monitoring nullahs in the city round the clock, he also wants offenders penalised if they are caught dumping garbage in them. The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has initiated putting up nets at the mouths of several drains to stop garbage from entering the sea.
Pardeshi wants the people of Mumbai to change. He wants them to stop dumping waste in nullahs. So the Solid Waste Management Department has been asked to increase the number of sanitary inspectors and clean-up marshals at several locations, mainly near slums close to the banks of nullahs, to monitor the areas 24X7. Civic sources revealed that R200 will be charged for dumping in nullahs. The clean-up marshals currently charge Rs 200 for littering and spitting, whereas R100 is charged for defecating in the open. Littering by pets is charged Rs 500.
Nullahs will be monitored 24X7 and those littering them will be penalised
Violators to be traced
Interestingly, the BMC also plans to check the kind of floating material and silt that is removed from the nullahs. If it is found to be of a particular type disposed of by small scale industries such as tailoring businesses, leather shops etc, these places will penalised. While the amount seems to be minimal, action which will start soon, said officials. A civic official said, "Our intent is to discipline citizens and the Solid Waste Management department has already been asked to look into this. While there were instructions about disconnecting water supply as an action, it is not feasible, and so asking them to pay is an option."
He added, "The instructions given by the commissioner are clear. Action needs to be taken and change brought in. Minor drains will have nets installed at the connections with bigger drains, so that the floating material can be identified and targeted collection can take place. The kind of materials found in silt and in the mouths of trash booms and nets will help us find those who throw it. Clean-up marshals taking action and sanitary inspectors monitoring this will be seen this monsoon."
Nets placed after report
mid-day had reported on June 1 about environmentalist Stalin D writing to Pardeshi alleging that the plastic ban has not been implemented due to lack of effort on the part of the corporation. Stalin had also alleged that despite promises made last year before the high court appointed Wetland committee, the BMC failed to install nets at the mouth of nullahs and creeks to prevent plastic from entering the sea. After mid-day had asked senior officials about this, they had said that trash booms were put in place. On Saturday mid-day was informed soon after the article was printed, that nets too have been placed.
Making a clean swoop
Pardeshi said, "Nets are being installed in several locations identified by our department where garbage is being dumped. They are mainly near slums and at the entries of drains into the rivers. A large number of sanitary inspectors and clean-up marshals will be stationed at strategic locations to catch offenders. We are looking at behavioural change among citizens so that trash is not at all dumped in the nullahs, and rainwater flows through it. I would like to also reiterate that this penalty is not aimed to earn any revenue.'
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