What a waste: Tonnes of plastic washes up Mumbai beach, but ₹50-lakh machines unused | mumbai news | Hindustan Times
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What a waste: Tonnes of plastic washes up Mumbai beach, but ₹50-lakh machines unused

While residents say the contractor wants to save the money spent on diesel, sources close to the contractor say

mumbai Updated: Aug 12, 2017 01:18 IST
Geetanjali Gurlhosur
According to the BMC, 40 labourers manually pick up trash from the Juhu beach twice a day after high tides.
According to the BMC, 40 labourers manually pick up trash from the Juhu beach twice a day after high tides.(Pramod Thakur/HT Photo)

Even though tonnes of plastic washes up the Juhu beach daily, two combing machines obtained at a cost of Rs50 lakh in 2010 from Germany lie unused, claim residents.

Reason: while residents say the contractor wants to save the money spent on diesel, sources close to the contractor say the machine works well only on dry sand.

According to the BMC, 40 labourers manually pick up trash from the beach twice a day after high tides, which is segregated using the beach combers.

The trash is then sent to the dumping grounds in trucks. Residents, however, claim only 25 labourers are seen collecting the waste along the beach.

Sources say the contractor is supposed to collect only 25 tonnes of garbage a day.

“During the monsoon, we clear 150-200 tonnes of garbage every day. Running and maintaining these machines is not affordable. They are not made for such harsh use,” said the source.

Zahida Banatwala, a member of the Juhu Committee appointed to handle cleaning of the beach, said, “The contractor is trying to save money on diesel.”

“We had asked the BMC to get more machines to clean up the beach. We had also suggested labourers use ploughs to dig out the buried plastic,” said Vinay Singh, former president of Juhu Citizens’ Welfare Group (JCWG), adding, “There should be different machines to comb wet and dry sand. The German machines work well only on dry sand.”

Prashant Gaikwad, assistant municipal commissioner, said, “The contract will be renewed and revised in March 2018. We will have four new machines by then. The contractor’s job is to keep the beach clean 24x7, whether using labour or machines.”