June 18, 2016
Mumbai: This year, the Brihanmumbai Mumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has put up posters along nullahs to prevent citizens from throwing garbage in them. The move comes after measures such as cleanliness drives for slums near nullahs, demolishing encroachments, threatening high fines for those who litter the drains and proposing more garbage bin saw limited success.
“Last year, we tried penalising those who threw garbage in the nullahs. However, it was impossible to undertake such a drive with limited staff. In many cases, sewer lines have opened in the nullhas, worsening their condition,” said a civic official.
The BMC on Friday put up posters near Rafi Nagar nullah, Subhash Nagar nullah, Deonar nullah in Goavandi, Deoanar and many others in Kurla, Ghatkopar and Mulund.These areas have a high number of nullahs either encroaching on, or running parallel to major storm water drains.
Hindustan Times in its monsoon audit had highlighted how encroachments and huts built on nullahs block the flow of drains. For instance, illegal settlements ran parallel to the Behrampada nullah in Bandra east. There was no access route for desilting machines to make their way to the nullah. When HT visited the site, it was one of the worst, scoring a two out of 10.
“The BMC needs the help of NGOs undertake awareness campaigns in slums throughout the year. These posters are a knee-jerk reaction and are not a long term solution,” said James John, AGNI coordinator.
The civic body is undertaking a demolition drive across the city.
“We clean the nullah, carry out desilting, but within a day, if the site is inspected, it will be choked with floating garbage due to people who throw waste there,” said civic official.
The BMC has listed nearly 150 spots across the city prone to flooding due to garbage being thrown in the desilted nullahs.
The BMC will issue warnings and notices to hutments and slums in hilly areas that are vulnerable to collapse.
Depending on the ownership of the land, alternate accommodation and rehabilitation will be made for the families, either by the civic body or the collectorate.