BMC may use clean-up marshals to implement plastic ban in Mumbai
The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) is mulling over deploying its clean-up marshals to implement the plastic ban across Mumbai.
“In case BMC falls short of officials to implement the ban, it will use its clean-up marshal force. But it is not official yet as the final decision rests with civic chief Ajoy Mehta,” said a civic official.
According to a senior civic official, BMC is presently focusing on creating awareness about plastic usage. Within a month or so, it will start punitive action for non-compliance to the ban. However, BMC is likely to find itself in the thick of controversy if it assigns clean-up marshals with the task of implementing the ban as they have frequently been accused of overstepping their authority to extort money. After introducing them in 2007, BMC also briefly discontinued them in 2011, following complaints. They even faced severe flak from corporators, and have been accused of being extortionists.
In November 2017, when the proposal to renew 21 contracts of deploying round-the-clock clean-up marshals across Mumbai came up, the members unanimously opposed it. Among those who had opposed it were Shiv Sena corporator Ashish Chemburkar, Vidyarthi Singh, and Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) Prabhakar Shinde.
Singh said, “If BMC uses clean-up marshals for the ban, it will just give them another opportunity to make money. These marshals are not interested in ensuring the city is garbage-free. They deliberately stand at crowded places like bus stops to nab unsuspecting people for really petty offences, and meet their daily target.”
However, a senior civic official said, “There is no concrete decision about it. There will be designated BMC officials at each ward in-charge of implementing the ban. Their names will be displayed on the website.” BMC plans to give special uniforms to these officials. There will also be at least two levels of checks to ensure there is no wrong-doing, he said.