After receiving several complaints about floating garbage in nullahs, Guardian Minister for Mumbai city, Deepak Kesarkar, directed the BMC administration to create awareness among the people. He also instructed civic authorities to take the help of police to carry out punitive action on people throwing waste in nullahs. He also visited the disaster management cell in BMC's headquarters on Tuesday afternoon.
The civic body had to face criticism for waterlogging in several low-lying areas during the first heavy shower last Saturday. However, the civic officials later claimed that massive waterlogging at the Andheri subway was due to floating garbage. The Whatsapp Chatbot number was started by the BMC on June 1, to register complaints regarding the desilting of nullahs majorly received complaints of garbage and floating material. Taking serious note of this, the guardian minister of the city on his visit to BMC's disaster management cell instructed the officials of BMC's solid waste management department to create awareness in areas near nullahs.
800 sanitation workers to be deployed
"The minister has also assured us that he will instruct the police to take punitive action on people throwing garbage in nullahs. As per instructions, we will soon deploy 800 sanitation workers (Swachata Doot) near major nullahs to stop people from throwing garbage in nullahs. Installation of CCTV in such areas was also discussed in the past, which did not materialise. The sanitation workers don't have the power to collect fines, so in that case, local police can be of help as people fear action from them," said a senior civic official.
"In 2016, then municipal commissioner Pravin Pardeshi had set up 24 patrolling teams in the city’s 24 wards. The Mumbai Police were also part of the drive and ₹200 fine was collected from individuals found throwing garbage into nullahs," said another civic official. The BMC had found floating material such as 165 litres of refrigerator, cupboard, bed etc in Mogra nullah that stopped the pumping station, resulting in waterlogging.