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Leave trash, alcohol bottles at Mumbai waterfalls, pay fines to Maharashtra government

Visitors have converted Mumbai’s waterfalls from popular picnic sites to garbage dumps

mumbai Updated: Aug 03, 2017 13:16 IST
Badri Chatterjee
Badri Chatterjee
Hindustan Times
Maharashtra government,Mumbai waterfalls,alcohol
Members of NGO Environment Life cleared alcohol bottles from Bhivpuri waterfall earlier this month.(HT File Photo)

Maharashtra’s tourism department wants the police to fine picnickers who leave trash around Mumbai’s waterfalls.

Dirtiest waterfalls
  • NGO Environment Life, which has been cleaning up waterfalls over the past year, tells us the amount of trash they collected at each site
  • Anandwadi - 540kg (20 bags)
  • Jummpatti - 120kg (6 bags)
  • Tapalwadi - 120 kg (6 bags)
  • Khopoli – Zenith - 220 kg (11 bags)
  • Vasai – Chinchoti - 340 kg (17 bags)
  • Kondeshwar - 1,000 kg (50 bags)
  • Pandavkada - 280 kg (14 bags)
  • Bhivpuri - 2,500 kg (120 bags)

The Maharashtra Tourism and Development Corporation (MTDC) has asked eight government departments, including the police, forest and water resources, to come up with measures to tackle the problem of garbage, especially alcohol bottles, strewn around these sites.

Visitors have converted these waterfalls from popular picnic sites to garbage dumps.

On July 3, HT had reported that a group of volunteers cleared 2,500 kg of trash, mostly comprising plastic and alcohol bottles, from Bhivpuri waterfall, 90 km from Mumbai.One group, Environment Life, cleared more than 5 tonnes of trash from waterfalls in Anandwadi, Jummpatti, Tapalwadi, Khopoli–Zenith, Vasai – Chinchoti, Kondeshwar and Pandavkada, around Mumbai.

Villagers who live near the city’s waterfalls have said that garbage not only pollutes the streams, but is also a safety hazard, with glass shards from discarded bottles injuring people.

“The home, urban development, village development, water resources and sanitation, revenue and forest departments and MTDC Mumbai have been asked to look into the matter,” said an MTDC official. “Each will look into the sources to trash being dumped at these locations. The garbage is affecting the tourism potential of such locations,” he added.

For cleaner waterfalls:
  • Put up signboards with strict warnings about litter at every waterfall
  • Install garbage bins
  • Build toilets and changing rooms for people
  • Ban alcohol at tourist spots
  • Ask police to patrol the area and crack down on the use of narcotics and alcohol
  • Source: Environment Life

The official said that after action has been taken, a report will be filed with the local district collector and MTDC, informing them of what steps have taken to curb the garbage menace.

“These areas need to be kept clean. As citizens, it should be our responsibility to ensure we do not litter these tourist spots,” said Nitin Gadre, principal secretary, state tourism and culture department.

Environment Life, which wrote to chief minister Devendra Fadnavis about the problem, said they were happy with the government’s decision to fine litterers. “These beautiful tourist spots need to be preserved and we hope authorities can ensure that through a suitable action plan,” said Dharmesh Barai, head coordinator, Environment Life. He said the NGO submitted a list of suggestions that can help ensure cleaner waterfall.

First Published: Aug 03, 2017 13:10 IST