Two days after the Hindustan Times reported how dirty house gullies in the island city were leading to a spurt in cases of contaminated water supplied to households, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) is now mulling a plan to involve residents to ensure house gullies are cleaned. House gullies are narrow spaces between two buildings and are a common feature in south Mumbai.
Looking to replicate successful examples from the past, the civic body now wants to start more Advanced Locality Management (ALM) groups to ensure house gullies are not turned into garbage dumps.
HT had earlier reported how out of 4,351 complaints received between April 1, 2010 to March 31, 2011, a whopping 3,372 were from south Mumbai. Most were attributed to the fact that water pipelines pass through house gullies, which are often full of trash and overflowing sewage.
Additional municipal commissioner MM Adtani said, “This is a long-pending problem. Even though our sweepers regularly clean these gullies, locals keep throwing trash. It is time residents share some responsibility of ensuring the lanes remain clean.”
Adtani said past examples had shown that involving residents in such campaigns enhanced the chances of their success. “We could start these ALMs by including one or two residents from each building and making them accountable for ensuring that residents do not litter.”
BP Patil, chief engineer, solid waste management, said, “ALMs have proved that locals become more responsible for the upkeep and maintenance of their localities. The local ward officer along with our nodal ALM officer will have to ensure that more people are roped in.” This initiative, Adtani said, would be promoted in Bhuleshwar, Dhobi Talao, Kalbadevi, Mumbadevi, Marine Lines, Walkeshwar and Byculla.
However, a senior civic official, not wishing to be named, said, “It won’t be easy to popularise ALMs in these wards, where residents are not owners but tenants. Also, experience shows that the middleclass, which is aware and motivated, is more inclined towards ALM activism.”
Local corporator from Mumbadevi, Janak Sanghavi, said, “The initiative will be successful only if residents willingly join the movement and volunteer to form ALMs.”