Mumbai: The BMC has appointed 800 sanitation workers on a pilot basis to supervise day-to-day cleanliness and garbage collection in wards. These workers, also known as 'swachata doot', will create awareness in all the 24 administrative wards in the city. However, they would not be empowered to take any punitive action.
Clean-up marshals likely to return
The BMC is planning to bring back clean-up marshals to the city to maintain cleanliness. The marshals will have the power of collecting fines from the citizens for littering and spitting. Apart from marshals, the BMC administration had announced plans to appoint 5,000 sanitation workers in December. It was decided to appoint 200 such sanitation workers in each administrative ward. However, the civic authorities have made changes to their earlier plan and appointed the first batch of 800 workers last week.
Workers to be "eyes and ears” of BMC
"These workers will be the “eyes and ears” of BMC. We have been implementing waste segregation for a long time. Now these sanitation workers will visit housing societies in their respective wards and create awareness of waste segregation at source and make people understand the need for cleanliness. They will also monitor the cleanliness of public toilets across the city, especially in slum pockets. Since we will also be appointing clean-up marshals, the ‘swachhta doot’ would not be empowered to take any punitive action. This concept is new, so after looking at its results, we will increase the number of swachata doot," said a civic official of BMC's solid waste management department.
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. It was revived in 2016 and the contract was renewed on a yearly basis. During the pandemic, they fined over 35 lakh citizens and collected Rs 80 crore as a penalty.
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