With the hope for a cleaner Mumbai, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) is planning to bring back clean-up marshals on the streets, but with a few changes to the contract. Civic officials say the scheme can be launched in two months.
The clean-up marshals scheme was discontinued last year after the contract expired. The scheme ran into controversy following allegations of marshals harassing people for money.
A proposal, which was recently sent to BMC commissioner Sitaram Kunte by the solid waste management (SWM) department, for approval has been sent back. The civic chief suggested a separate fund code for this scheme and all fines collected by the marshals will be collected under this.
Deputy municipal commissioner, SWM department, Prakash Patil told HT, “We are in process of making the provisions for a separate fund code. Once this is done, we will start the process of appointing a contractor for the clean-up marshals.”
On the allegations of marshals extorting money from citizens, Patil said, “There are some problems but that does not mean the whole scheme should be scrapped. We can make necessary changes and impose the scheme effectively this time.”
The civic body, meanwhile, has proposed changes in contract to stop the marshals from harassing the people. It has been proposed that fines amounting to Rs 20,000 on dumping of debris (construction waste) illegally or throwing biomedical waste and non-segregation of hazardous waste (fines amounting between Rs 1,000 and Rs 10,000) be scrapped from the scheme.
“Higher fines are always the problem as most of the clean-up marshals concentrate on extorting these amounts from people. So we have proposed to withdraw this power from the clean-up marshals to ensure they no longer harass people,” said a senior officer from the SWM department.