Litter Navi Mumbai’s nullahs, pay ₹250 fine
Think twice before you throw any sort of garbage into the city’s nullahs or drains. You may have to end up paying a ₹250 fine if you’re caught in the act.
The Navi Mumbai Municipal Corporation (NMMC) has decided to levy this penalty to keep its stormwater drains from being clogged this monsoon.
Tushar Pawar, deputy municipal commissioner of NMMC, said, “We finished cleaning all our nullahs in time this year. Now, our biggest challenge is to keep them from flooding throughout the monsoon.”
Pawar said locals have already started throwing all sorts of refuse into the drains and nullahs, especially in areas where there are slums. “If this continues, all these nullahs may be clogged within a few weeks and the city may face waterlogging. This is why we have imposed the ₹250 fine.”
In order to enforce this policy, Pawar said special squads have been deployed by the NMMC to keep a watch on offenders. “If we catch them throwing garbage on the CCTV, they will have to pay up,” he said.
When asked if any person has been fined so far in this regard, Pawar said no one has been caught so far. “However, we believe a huge number of people will end up paying this fine by the time the monsoon is over,” he said.
Residents and the activists have welcomed the civic body’s move.
Suresh Shinde, 41, an activist from Kopar Khairane said, “The NMMC spent ₹7.50 crore for cleaning drains and nullahs this year, all from taxpayers’ money. Even after this, if the city still faces waterlogging, it will be unfortunate.”
“The NMMC has taken the right decision in this regard. The irresponsible residents will learn a lesson only when they are fined for their negligence,” Shinde said.
Swapnil Rane, 46, another activist from Nerul, said, “₹250 is still a small amount. The NMMC should have come up with a heavier penalty.”
Apart from cleaning the existing drains and the nullahs, the NMMC this year constructed new drains at several places of the city. For this work, they spent money from the ₹283 crore allocated for new infrastructural works and maintenance of the old ones.
For the low-lying areas near Airoli and Digha, the NMMC has arranged for additional manpower and water-pumps. These areas had seen severe waterlogging during the rains in 2017.
“The extra manpower and other resources will help us in rescuing the residents in case of emergency,” another senior officer said.