In light of the momentum generated by the Central government’s Swachh Bharat Abhiyaan, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) on Thursday announced an array of initiatives under a five-year plan to rejuvenate the deteriorating waste management services in Mumbai.
The plan touches upon improving all components of the waste management chain that includes segregation, collection and disposal with increased citizen involvement at the core.
While the civic body has already begun organising voluntary shramdaan activity every week in all 227 wards to encourage people to clean their localities, it has now planned to institutionalise collaborations with citizens and strengthen existing partnerships such as Advanced Locality Managements (ALMs).
“Around 300 of the existing 650 ALMs in the city are active. We need to increase their number as well as revive those that have become defunct so that segregation at source is strengthened. We will aim towards facilitating formation of at least one new ALM in each of the 227 wards and take the total number of ALMs in the city to 1,000,” said Vikas Kharage, additional municipal commissioner, in charge of solid waste management.
Kharage added that house-to-house segregation needs to become a part of our culture and it was important to plan a long-term strategy under the Abhiyaan, which went beyond just clicking and posting photos of streets being swept. “We have started planning our efforts comprehensively. We also need to develop monitoring systems”.
High footfall areas in every ward are being identified to create a model zero-garbage area. “We will develop the infrastructure of garbage management in these areas. We will analyse if more litter bins, manpower and other mechanised equipment are needed for garbage collection and provide them,” Kharage said.
The aim, he said, was to follow the direction of countries such as Singapore and work towards reducing the garbage that reaches dumping grounds to four to five per cent.
“It is a huge challenge and it will require decade-long efforts to achieve it. Decentralisation of disposal needs to be taken up by people. Many housing societies have set up vermicomposting plants. We want more citizens to start this and the BMC will provide any support and technical know-how that they require,” he said.