Clean-up marshals to return next week: BMC
Six months after the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation’s (BMC) clean-up marshals scheme was suspended on allegations of corruption, the marshals will once again start patrolling the city's roads on June 27, the civic body told the Bombay high court on Wednesday. Urvi Mahajani reports.mumbai Updated: Jun 23, 2011 02:18 IST
Six months after the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation’s (BMC) clean-up marshals scheme was suspended on allegations of corruption, the marshals will once again start patrolling the city's roads on June 27, the civic body told the Bombay high court on Wednesday.
A division bench of justice Ranjana Desai and justice RV More was hearing a public interest litigation filed by the women’s cell of a non-government organisation, All India Human Rights Association (AIHRA), challenging the municipal corporation’s decision to abruptly discontinue the clean-up scheme. The scheme had been discontinued on January 1 following allegations of corruption and complaints of bribes being demanded by clean-up marshals and their high-handed behaviour.
Sunil Dighe, advocate for the petitioner, argued that, under the previous scheme, the BMC had collected Rs7 crore in two years by way of fine from offenders which indicates the marshals had been active in keeping the city clean. Justice Desai asked the BMC what it was doing to ensure cleanliness in the city. She said, “What are you (BMC) doing? We find so much garbage, [so many] plastic bottles on the roads.”
Komal Punjabi, advocate for the BMC, told the court that the clean-up marshals will start patrolling the streets from June 27 and the scheme will be fully operational from July 1. Punjabi said the BMC has already short listed six private agencies that would provide a total of 600 clean-up marshals for a period of one year. The BMC has already recruited 390 clean-up marshals who are currently undergoing training and the credentials of the remaining 210 candidates who have applied for the post of a marshal were in the process of verification, she added.
Talking about ward-wise allocation of marshals, Punjabi said each of the 24 wards in the city would have 25 clean-up marshals.
The court also said corporators need to take active interest in their wards. Justice Desai said, “Corporators of the area should take the responsibility (to see that the ward is clean).”
The court has asked the BMC to file an affidavit in four weeks detailing the progress of the revived scheme.