Mumbai: Borivali Cleanup Drive By BMC Slammed By Residents As 'Eyewash' & 'Photo Opportunity' Amid Neglected Critical Issues

Mumbai: Borivali Cleanup Drive By BMC Slammed By Residents As 'Eyewash' & 'Photo Opportunity' Amid Neglected Critical Issues

Yet, despite BMC's assurances, residents have raised vociferous concerns regarding the effectiveness of the initiative, casting doubt on the corporation's commitment to addressing the area's pressing sanitation issues.

RUCHA KANOLKARUpdated: Saturday, March 16, 2024, 10:09 PM IST
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Borivali Cleanup Drive By BMC |

Mumbai: In what was heralded as a concerted effort to rid Mumbai's Borivali of its cleanliness woes, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) embarked on a deep clean drive across the R Central ward, encompassing all 25 wards. Yet, despite BMC's assurances, residents have raised vociferous concerns regarding the effectiveness of the initiative, casting doubt on the corporation's commitment to addressing the area's pressing sanitation issues.

The deep clean drive, purportedly in its 16th week, purported to target Devipada, a locality teeming with slum dwellers, as part of its weekly Saturday ritual. Spearheaded by BMC Commissioner Iqbal Singh Chahal, the initiative saw the participation of local MLA Prakash Surve and various departmental officials, ostensibly to tackle the grime-laden streets of Borivali East.

Gopal Jhaveri, the founder of Mumbai March, lambasted the BMC's deep clean drive, emphasizing, "The primary objective of this initiative is to enhance the city's Air Quality Index. While the aim is to meticulously remove every speck of dust by dousing roads with water, Borivali presents a contrasting scene. Construction activities and road repairs are underway in the same areas designated for cleaning, leaving debris strewn across the streets. The absence of pre-monsoon desalination work this year is glaring, especially considering the priority stormwater drain maintenance should hold. BMC's focus should extend beyond surface-level cleaning to address encroachments, neglected areas breeding mosquitoes, and the accumulation of dust on infrastructure like abandoned passages and roadside stalls. There's a conspicuous absence of a comprehensive dust-free campaign in Borivali. This one-day drive appears to be a mere façade, squandering public funds for the benefit of photo opportunities for politicians and officials. Prioritizing removal of encroachments, filling potholes, repairing pavements and broken speed breakers, and ensuring proper garbage disposal are imperative steps towards achieving genuine cleanliness in Borivali."

Deepak Patil, a resident of Borivali East, voiced his disappointment, emphasizing, "This marks the second cleanup drive in Borivali, yet it's appalling that the BMC hasn't even bothered to address the accumulated dust from the previous cleanup near Natakwala Colony in Borivali West. The collected garbage and debris linger untouched, exacerbating daily with the wind, blatantly deceiving the public. This ongoing campaign falls far short of deep cleaning standards. It's evident that the BMC's priorities are skewed, as they neglect crucial areas such as Magathane Depot, Kulupwadi, the vicinity of the National Park gate, Magathane Police Chowki, Kajupada, Nancy Colony ST Stand, and Sukarwadi ST Stand, which are crying out for urgent sanitation measures."

Geeta Singhan, former corporator of R Central Ward 12 from Shiv Sena UBT, launched a scathing attack on the BMC, stating, "We met with the ward officer on Friday to address pressing issues regarding water and cleanliness, only to be blindsided by the BMC's secretive conduct in organizing the cleanup drive on Saturday. It is evident that only former corporators affiliated with the ruling party were conveniently invited, raising serious concerns about transparency and fairness. While we do not oppose the deep clean drive per se, it is imperative to address the ongoing challenges that demand BMC's immediate attention. Numerous areas are plagued by choked drains, unattended tree cutting, and a glaring absence of pre-monsoon preparations. Furthermore, the alarming issue of water scarcity looms large, yet the BMC's careless approach, evidenced by the wanton waste of water during the cleaning operation, is utterly baffling. Why, then, is the BMC contemplating water cuts when there appears to be a flagrant disregard for water conservation in actions such as these?"

Riddhi Khursange, a former Corporator from Shivsena UBT, lamented, "Despite our persistent efforts to contribute to civic improvement, it was disheartening to be sidelined from the deep clean drive despite our repeated requests. It's evident that only ex-corporators affiliated with the ruling party were chosen to participate. This exclusionary decision deeply undermines the integrity of the initiative. Instead of addressing crucial issues such as narrow lanes, overflowing garbage bins, and neglected public facilities, the BMC's focus seems to be solely on surface-level road cleaning. Such misguided priorities only exacerbate the persistent sanitation challenges faced by Borivali residents."

In a response, Sandhya Nandedkar, Assistant Commissioner of R Central Ward, articulated, "Our focus was directed towards the narrow lanes of Devipada, where we garnered positive responses from residents, students, and the MLA. The primary objective of this initiative is to foster awareness among the community regarding cleanliness. We specifically targeted two main locations: Devipada Road highway and Mane Compound. Moving forward, we are committed to sustaining this cleaning process at our level."

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