Mira Bhayandar: Caretaker At Civic-Run Loo Caught Selling Gutka

Mira Bhayandar: Caretaker At Civic-Run Loo Caught Selling Gutka

In a classic example of “fence eating the crop”, this incident occurs despite spending crores for the maintenance of community toilets

Suresh GolaniUpdated: Friday, August 18, 2023, 08:14 PM IST
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Representative Image | PTI

Mira Bhayandar: Despite the Mira Bhayandar Municipal Corporation's (MBMC) endeavours in the Swachh Bharat Mission (SBM) and initiatives like "Operation Rudra" to ensure clean slum areas, it has come to light that the community toilets have turned into outlets for selling banned tobacco-laced gutka products by its own caretakers.

Raids conducted by crime branch unit (Zone I)

One such community toilet located in Bhayandar's Azad Nagar area was raided by a team from the crime branch unit (Zone I) attached to the Mira Bhayandar-Vasai Virar (MBVV) police on Independence Day. Acting on a tip-off, an undercover police officer entered the toilet and witnessed the caretaker, Mohammed Nawab Shamshuddin Qureshi, 42, openly selling gutka to individuals. The police swiftly apprehended Qureshi and conducted a thorough search of the premises, revealing hundreds of gunny bags containing pan-masala and scented tobacco sachets from various brands, valued at Rs 78,000.

Despite spending crores monthly in the maintenance of public toilets, many facilities depict neglect and unhygienic surroundings, with gutka spitting being a prevalent issue. The MBMC provides amenities such as free water and covers electricity bills for these toilets. The city is equipped with 201 community toilet complexes comprising over 3,500 seats, primarily constructed under the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority's Nirmal Abhiyan. Meanwhile, an offence has been registered under the relevant sections of the Indian Penal Code and the Food Safety and Standards (Prohibition and Restriction on Sales) Act, 2011 at the Navghar police station and further investigations are ongoing. 

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