Mumbai: Following directives of Chief Minister Eknath Shinde, the BMC undertook a cleanliness drive. However, there are still complaints of littering and spitting on roads. Due to this, the civic authorities are keen on bringing clean-up marshals back to the fields before Diwali. They will collect fines from the offenders ranging from Rs.100 to Rs.1,000, said the civic sources.
The WhatsApp number started exclusively to record complaints only related to garbage has recorded 5,709 complaints related to garbage in the last four months. The civic officials have found that there are few spots where garbage is dumped frequently. "We immediately attended to these complaints, but to stop these nuisances, we needed a strict vigil on roads. However, the process of appointing the marshals was delayed due to no response from the agencies in the beginning. Finally, we could find one agency for each ward and the Marshals will be back on roads after administrative approval," said a civic official.
There will be a total of 720 marshals
The clean up marshals will have power to collect fines for spitting, littering, dumping waste and debris on the road, washing vehicles and clothes on the road and for open defecation etc. There will be 24 contractors in all the 24 administrative wards with 30 marshals in each ward. There will be a total of 720 marshals and their number will be increased if required. As per the civic data, the solid waste management department (SWD) of the BMC has received 7,485 complaints since June 7 to October 9. Kurla (553), Andheri west (508) and Malad (474) were found to be the most unclean areas with the highest number of complaints.
The scheme to have marshals in every civic ward was introduced in 2007. However, it was discontinued in 2011, after receiving several complaints of corruption and extortion. The scheme was revived in 2016, and the contract was renewed on a yearly basis. During the two years of the pandemic, the marshals fined more than 35 lakh citizens and collected Rs 80 crore in the form of penalties. But they also faced criticism for allegedly extorting money and hence their services were discontinued in March 2022.
Fine under cleanliness drive
Throwing waste in public places - Rs 200
Creating nuisance, spitting - Rs 200
Bath on road - Rs 100
Open defecation - Rs 200
Feeding animals in non-demarcated areas - Rs 500
Washing vehicles - Rs 1,000