Heading to the beach? These are the 10 most polluted beaches in Maharashtra
As a part of a state-wide beach cleanup drive, the Maharashtra Maritime Board (MMB) has ensured the removal 8,382 tons of trash from 72 beaches along the Konkan coastline, revealed a one-year report.
MMB identified top 10 of 72 beaches where they found the maximum trash strewn during the cleanup, with Mumbai having three of the most polluted beaches - Juhu being the dirtiest beach with 50.61 tons of trash, followed by Versova with 49.82 tons and Girgaum chowpatty with 20.48 tons. The remaining beaches were identified from Raigad, Ratnagiri and Sindhudurg district (see box).
The cleanup started in October last year under MMB’s project Nirmal Sagar Tat Abhiyan – a coastal protection and management program — that received the chief minister’s nod last May. The project was announced after the central government identified the north and south Konkan regions as coastal economic zones in 2016.
Murud beach before (top) and after (bottom) a cleanup
MMB officials said that majority of the waste that was cleared from these areas consisted of plastics, cloth, rubber and metal. In remote areas in the state, the cleanup was led by local village heads (gram panchayats) and residents of these villages, and at urban beaches, it was a cumulative effort from the municipal corporations, residents and the fishing communities living in the areas, said officials.
“Close to 700 tons of trash was removed every month from 72 beaches along the 720km state coastline,” said Atul Patne, chief executive officer, MMB. “This is an ongoing process and the main stakeholders involved in clearing the trash are local citizens from each of these beaches. With our main focus on boosting tourism along this coastline, we had carried out community-based awareness programs and developed teams that consisted of residents from these areas.”
He added that a total of Rs4 crore was invested for the project, and beaches in the state were divided into – A, B and C – categories on the basis of their footfall (population visiting these beaches). “We invested Rs20 lakh into A category beaches, Rs15 lakh to B and Rs10 lakh to C. This is an ongoing process where money was not only invested for cleaning of the beach, but overall development to ensure a boost in tourism,” said Patne.
Kashid beach before (top) and after (bottom) a cleanup
The facelift of A category beaches, mostly in the Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR), will have enhanced tourist facilities such as shacks and a sports arena to cater to water sports and other activities. “We are currently focusing on cleanup of B and C category beaches, but similar enhancement will be done like A category ones depending on their development over the next year,” he said.