Residents call for more concrete steps to tackle underlying reasons for why trash keeps piling up
Old Fisheries University Road in Versova
Citizens are not satisfied with the steps taken by the BMC to get rid of garbage spots despite the strict instructions from the chief minister on the subject and its tall claims about taking action. Mumbaikars have alleged that the BMC’s efforts are nothing more than knee-jerk reactions and garbage keeps piling up. In a series, mid-day, shed light on the city’s many garbage spots in mid-August.
Plush societies in Bandra and Khar have their own sweepers and garbage collectors who segregate waste but garbage can be seen in lanes and at corners in these areas. Many residents still complain about garbage and debris in Khar and Santacruz area. “This is the constant state of Bandra-Khar-Santacruz. One day, garbage will be cleared and the next day, things will go back to the way they were. Then the trash will lie there for a week. The BMC is very slow to clear garbage and sadly the moment they do, it’s back to square one,” said Debasish Chakraverty, a resident of Khar.
Garbage on a road in Santacruz West
Residents are aware that garbage is dumped by their own neighbours. While some may pay contractors to clear debris, they take shortcuts and pocket the money. Also, societies don’t pay for clearing green waste. Sweepers only collect wet garbage. The residents of Sakinaka also regularly complained about garbage spots. “Why can’t the BMC improve its system to pick up garbage from slums effectively? How can the corporation expect citizens to clean their premises,” asked Mandeep Singh Makkar, a resident of Sakinaka.
On the other hand, residents of Versova, who complained about overflowing dustbins on the roadside two months ago, are now relieved. “The situation is much better though all the spots are not clean,” said Vijay Ullal, a resident of Versova. Another resident said that after mid-day highlighted the issue, the BMC arranged things in such a way that traffic is not affected.
Trash on a sidewalk on 8th Road, Khar West
Jitendra Gupta, an activist, said that the BMC should adopt different garbage-removal methods that have been proven effective in other cities. Collecting and transporting garbage at night is one of them. “When the BMC has a ‘Debris on Call’ service, the facility should be used to remove debris,” he said.
BMC’s action plan
The BMC held a review meeting on September 4, with all the officials concerned. A long-term public awareness campaign was planned to promote civic discipline. A separate app will be developed to monitor the solid waste system on the lines of WhatsApp helpline set up on the CM’s instructions. Around 1,748 employees have been appointed to speed up the cleaning process. Similarly, about 186 vehicles including JCBs and dumpers have been deployed. Jt commissioners, dy commissioners and assistant commissioners of all departments are conducting daily inspection in their jurisdictions. After their area-wise visits, compliance with instructions made during the inspections will be examined.