In an effort to revive its clean-up drive, the civic body will impose stringent conditions on private guards deployed under the scheme to ensure that Mumbaiites keep their city clean.
The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) will roll out renewed contracts for the private guards (called clean-up marshals) within the next month.
Following complaints from citizens about misconduct by the marshals, the civic body has decided to take stricter action against private agencies that deploy them, by increasing the fines for violating contract conditions.
For instance, the fine for not complying with the mandatory code of wearing uniforms has been raised from Rs100 to Rs500 per day, while the fine for non-deployment of marshals is now Rs1,000 (from Rs100) per day.
“We had received several complaints saying marshals are not seen in their uniforms and are often spotted only outside railway stations and marketplaces. Making the contract conditions more stringent will help strengthen the scheme,” said Seema Redkar, officer on special duty in the BMC’s solid waste management department.
Deploying more marshals in the city results in increased revenue for the civic body through the fines collected from citizens.
“The purpose of the scheme is to instill a sense of cleanliness among citizens and to make the city cleaner. An increased collection of fines reflects the poor civic sense among citizens,” said Shekhar Chitale, chief engineer, department of solid waste management.
Activists, however, maintained that the scheme does not provide a long-term solution to cleanliness concerns.
“Instead of providing alternatives to people, the BMC is looking for an easy way out. To bring down the litter in the city, they must install enough garbage bins, build more public toilets and provide incentives for garbage segregation,” said Rajkumar Sharma, a Chembur-based civic activist.