BMC to rope in religious leaders to keep the litterbugs away at Dharavi

Updated on Sep 25, 2022 11:33 PM IST

The civic body’s G(north) ward has decided to keep the streets of Dharavi clean on war-footing, hence, not just religious leaders, they have decided to rope in shopkeepers, traders, community health volunteers

As Dharavi comprises of 500 masjids, temples and churches, BMC will deploy maulanas, pujaris and priests to make the drive a success (HT Photo)
As Dharavi comprises of 500 masjids, temples and churches, BMC will deploy maulanas, pujaris and priests to make the drive a success (HT Photo)
ByLinah Baliga

Mumbai The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has decided to mobilise religious leaders of different communities to create awareness among Dharavi residents about cleanliness and hygiene. This is part of their intensive cleanliness drive in Asia’s largest slum with a population of 6.5 lakh.

The civic body’s G(north) ward has decided to keep the streets of Dharavi clean on war-footing, hence, not just religious leaders, they have decided to rope in shopkeepers, traders, community health volunteers, anganwadis and mahila sevikas to stop the litterbugs. Under the scheme Swacha Mumbai Prabodhan Abhiyan, the civic body has set October 2 as a deadline to see visible changes in the area.

As Dharavi comprises of 500 masjids, temples and churches, BMC will deploy maulanas, pujaris and priests to make the drive a success. The project is helmed by Dr Subash Dalvi, officer in-charge on special duty for solid waste management, under the leadership of Ramakant Biradar, deputy municipal commissioner, Zone-2.

“Muslims lay great importance on personal hygiene. Hence, we have asked the maulanas to teach the community about cleanliness before or after Azaan or during Taqreer every Friday. Priests can create awareness during their Sunday sermons. The mandir pujaris will do the job of educating the Hindu community,” he said and added that the temples have already put up the slogan “Swachata Parmeshwaracha roop asto...” (Cleanliness is next to Godliness).

Dalvi further said that henceforth, if a gutter is choked or if garbage is lying unattended, Dharavi residents can approach their community leaders to get the issue resolved.

With this drive, the BMC’s aim is to reduce garbage that goes to the dumping ground, prevent littering and unceremonious dumping of garbage in nullahs, which invariably leads to flooding in monsoon. At present, 275 metric tonnes of garbage is generated in Dharavi that goes to the dumping ground.

However, the primary reason for the large amount of garbage generation in Dharavi is due to its floating population where littering is common.

“It is a congested area and passersby throw garbage. The garment waste generation is also huge from tiny rooms. They dump directly outside their rooms. This will be picked up and sent to a recycling hub in Dharavi,” said Dalvi.

He also said that the civic body will ensure that the community garbage bins do not overflow and are cleared on a regular basis. “Residents should understand that the garbage should be disposed of at source. So, the garbage should be handed over to Swacha Mumbai Prabhodan Abhiyan or the garbage van but it shouldn’t be thrown out. If others try to litter, residents should try to educate them,” added Dalvi.

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