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Saturday, Aug 24, 2019

CM Fadnavis joins Mumbai’s Versova beach clean-up drive, plans a litter policy for state

City-based lawyer Afroz Shah was joined by the chief minister and Yuva Sena chief Aditya Thackeray on Sunday afternoon

mumbai Updated: Dec 04, 2017 10:36 IST
Badri Chatterjee
Badri Chatterjee
Hindustan Times
(From left) Yuva Sena chief Aaditya Thackeray, CM Devendra Fadnavis and Afroz Shah at Versova beach.
(From left) Yuva Sena chief Aaditya Thackeray, CM Devendra Fadnavis and Afroz Shah at Versova beach.(SHASHI S KASHYAP)

In a bid to tackle domestic waste and stop plastic from entering the sea, chief minister Devendra Fadnavis announced on Sunday that a marine litter policy will be developed by the state government, a first in India.

City-based lawyer Afroz Shah was joined by chief minister Devendra Fadnavis and Yuva Sena chief Aditya Thackeray for the Versova beach cleanup on Sunday afternoon. Three tractor loads of trash was removed by members of the Versova Resident Volunteers (VRV). On week 111 of the cleanup between Saturday and Sunday, the group removed a total of 1.2 lakh kg trash.

“Marine litter is major issue that is being faced by coastal cities like Mumbai. We have asked Afroz, as he is a lawyer, to survey this issue and frame draft guidelines to tackle this problem under a marine litter policy,” said Fadnavis. “Once Aditya Thackeray and I both get the draft guidelines within the next few months, all legal procedures will be followed and Maharashtra will be the first state to develop such a policy.”

Thousands of people, 200 children from four schools and students from four colleges were present for Sunday’s cleanup. “We thank the CM and Aditya Thackeray for joining us in this attempt to rid our ocean from garbage. Our work has already begun to track and survey how this marine litter policy will be drafted. We will continue our cleanup in full swing,” Shah told HT.

Shah had announced on November 19 that he would suspend the clean-up owing to threats from local goons and the civic body’s failure to clear trash collected at one end of Versova since June this year. VRV and Shah did not clean the beach on November 25 and 26. After the intervention of central government officials, CM and Thackeray, the local ward office removed the trash from the site, which paved way for Shah resuming the cleanup on Saturday.

“We will make sure such issues do not happen in the future. The effort by Afroz and all other volunteers is the biggest service to the nation and it must continue. This is a symbol for Swachh Bharat. The state government and I fully standby and support this endeavour,” said Fadnavis.

Thackeray too highlighted the issue of marine litter and the dangers it poses. “We have had several discussions with Afroz and what he is doing is remarkable. I will not only back him up, but try to match steps with him to ensure we have clean beaches,” he said. He also tweeted about it.

The CM, Thackeray and all other citizens took a pledge to protect the ocean, reduce the use of plastic and protect the environment on Sunday.

First Published: Dec 04, 2017 10:36 IST

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