Mumbai: BMC Calls Garbage Complaint Resolution A Success; Activists Accuse Civic Body Of Making False Claims

Mumbai: BMC Calls Garbage Complaint Resolution A Success; Activists Accuse Civic Body Of Making False Claims

Following the directives of Chief Minister Eknath Shinde, the BMC has started a WhatsApp chatbot number exclusively to record complaints related to garbage.

SHEFALI PARAB-PANDITUpdated: Wednesday, December 06, 2023, 10:38 PM IST
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Mumbai: The BMC has resolved 7,034 complaints related to garbage in the last seven months. According to civic data, currently, not a single complaint is pending in the city. However, activists allege that the BMC is making false claims, as garbage can be seen lying on roads at several places.

Following the directives of Chief Minister Eknath Shinde, the BMC has started a WhatsApp chatbot number exclusively to record complaints related to garbage. Data from the BMC's solid waste management department (SWM) shows that 9,252 complaints were received between June 7 and December 3. Out of these, 7,034 complaints were related to garbage, 1,996 were about illegal dumping of debris, and 95 were of burning waste in the open.

'BMC making false claims'

Godfrey Pimenta, founder of WatchDog Foundation, said, "BMC is making false claims. In K East ward, specifically in Sahar Village near Kalpa hotel, there is a recurring issue of irresponsibly dumping household waste, resulting in spillage outside the designated bins. I have complained twice, but still, the problem persists." Jayant Dandekar, an activist from Vikhroli, said, "In the absence of corporators, there is no one to look at civic issues and give relief to the citizens. The BMC's vehicles make fewer trips than required to collect the garbage, so the waste lies on the road for days." Vinod Gholap, an activist from Malad, said, "People should also have civic sense to not throw garbage on the road."

The complaints received on the WhatsApp chatbot are forwarded to the concerned ward. The team visits the place through GPS location and ensures that the garbage is lifted. "There are a few spots where garbage is dumped frequently; the problem will only lessen if the citizens stop throwing garbage on the road," claims a civic official. A report by NGO Praja Foundation in May highlighted a rise in SWM-related citizen grievances, from 5,519 in 2013 to 12,351 in 2022. Notably, the majority of the complaints in 2022, nearly 4,356, pertained to uncollected garbage.

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