More than 200 metric tonnes (MT) of trash was collected by the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) from the city's beaches last week after washing ashore during high tide. Of this, almost 152 MT washed ashore over the weekend. The biggest amount of trash (around 100 MT) was collected by staff of the BMC's solid waste management department (SWM) from the beaches at Versova and Juhu.
High tides during the monsoon bring tonnes of garbage back from the sea onto the beaches and Marine Drive. “To prevent the trash from floating into the sea, barges equipped with trash brooms were put in rivers and major nullahs across the city during the last monsoon. It helped to some extent,” said civic officials.
The wards along the city's coastline have been facing garbage problems year after year, as the trash dumped by citizens is brought back to the beaches. As a result, there is a need for the deployment of additional manpower and machinery to collect the trash from the seashore.
According to data shared by the civic officials, last weekend (on June 18 and 19), around 18 MT of trash was collected by the civic staff from Badhwar Park at Colaba, followed by Dadar (15 MT), Madh (8 MT) and Gorai (5 MT). Meanwhile, around 100 MT was collected from Versova and Juhu, sources from the K (west) ward informed.
Activist Godfrey Pimenta said, “The sea throws back all the trash onto the shore. The public should also be blamed as a lack of civic sense leads to dumping of trash in the sea.”
Stalin Dayanand, director of Vanshakti, said, “People are carelessly disposing of non-degradable waste wherever they can, and ultimately that floats in the sea and comes on the shore. The only solution is to immediately ban single-use plastic which is seen in large quantities floating along the seashore.” He added that when single-use plastic will be made unavailable, the level of pollution will automatically come down.
Deputy municipal commissioner Sangita Hasnale said, “We have a proper system and manpower deployed on the seashore to collect the trash and ensure that no trash is left on the shore.”