Mumbai: While the city undergoes a 'deep cleaning,' this initiative has brought minimal changes to certain areas. Following the lead of Chandivali residents, local residents of Sahar village in Andheri (East) took matters into their own hands, wielding brooms to clean the roads. A group of residents, donned as Santa Claus, collected garbage and washed the roads on Wednesday. Despite civic officials asserting regular cleaning, citizens are accused of persistently littering the roads.
The BMC has initiated a 'Deep Cleaning' drive in one ward of every civic zone every weekend since December 3. Despite Chief Minister Eknath Shinde's commendable announcement and explicit directives to the BMC for cleanliness maintenance, Sahar area's ground reality remains deplorable, causing distress among residents, according to Godfrey Pimenta, founder of WatchDog Foundation.
A group of 15–20 residents, including women dressed as Santa Claus, gathered near Shantinagar Metro Station in Sahar village on Wednesday morning. They lifted garbage, deposited it in BMC's dustbins, and washed the roads. Nicholas Almeida, a participant, expressed concerns about unattended garbage being a potential health hazard and emphasized taking matters into their own hands after repeated complaints yielded no change. He warned of resorting to dumping garbage in front of the K east civic ward if the situation persists.
Mandeep Singh Makkar, founder of Chandivali Citizens Welfare Association (CCWA), highlighted the issue of illegal hawkers dumping waste in the evening, obstructing the entrance to Meenatai Thackeray playground. Despite previous cleaning efforts in October, the problem persists. Manish Valanju, assistant municipal commissioner of K east ward, explained that the area falls under the Airport Authority's jurisdiction. However, regular cleaning is conducted, and a deep cleaning drive will address the issue. Swachta Doot will also be appointed for awareness, as garbage is often dumped on the roads.