16,000 kg trash cleared from Mumbai’s waterfronts
Around 5,000 citizens joined hands to clean 16,000kg trash from nine beach fronts, two rivers and two mangrove forests over the weekend as a part of operation Jallosh-Clean Coasts, a first-of-its-kind city-wide network of citizen volunteers, environment groups, corporates, state agencies, and students.
The initiative—scheduled around World Environment Day on June 5—is led by non-profit group Project Mumbai to rid water bodies of domestic waste. HT is partnering with the effort to save city’s waterfronts.
The clean-up was scheduled on June 1, 2 and 5. “The enthusiasm among citizens to change the way we view our coastline and rivers is heart-warming,” said Shishir Joshi, chief executive officer and co-founder, Project Mumbai.
Beach clean-up crusader and advocate Afroz Shah led the beach clean-up on Saturday and Sunday, with his volunteers (more than 350 people) using excavation machines and waste removal equipment. “The initiative has been instrumental in bringing together a large number of citizens together. The sooner more citizens get together to manage their own garbage, the better it is,” said Shah.
Maximum trash was removed from Dana Pani beach and Mithi River. A little over 7,000kg trash, mostly plastic, was removed from nine beach fronts – Dana Pani beach in Malad, Chimbai in Bandra, Versova, Juhu, Girgaum, Dadar, Mahim, Cuffe Parade, and Carter Road — and 8,000kg trash was removed from Mithi and Poisar rivers on Saturday and Sunday. Led by Mangrove Foundation of Maharashtra, an autonomous society assisting the state in coastal marine conservation, citizens handpicked trash from two mangrove forests in Malad and Gorai. “Removing plastic waste from mangroves was difficult as we were trying to maintain balance on sticky mudflats while pulling out plastic, which was stuck to tree roots. Joint effort of students and mangrove cell officials helped clear 120kg trash across a stretch of 200m in Gorai,” said Moon Bhandari from Mangrove Foundation.
Non-profits such as the Girgaum Chowpatty Lifeguard Association, Earth Day Network, Via Green, Beach Warriors, Jay Foundation, Beach Please, Mahim Beach Clean Up, River March, United Way of Mumbai, and several corporates were present for the clean-up drive. One hundred staffers from Bharat Diamond Bourse, along with staff members from Fortis Healthcare (which provided free medical support to volunteers) and Lions Club, Juhu, were also part of the initiative.
“During the clean-up, we realised the quantum of waste we are responsible for. We must reclaim our beaches, rivers and mangrove areas,” said Dr Kersi Chavda, practising psychiatrist and former president, Bombay Psychiatric Society and consultant to three hospitals.
On Wednesday, the initiative is likely to witness its highest participation. Clean-up drives will be held from 7am to 8am at Cuffe Parade, Girgaum Chowpatty, Dadar, Mahim, Bandra, Juhu, Versova; 8am to 11am at Mithi River-Filter Pada end; and 7am to 10am at Bandra mangroves.