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Tuesday, Aug 20, 2019

Mumbai’s Versova beach clean-up to resume on Saturday

Lawyer Afroz Shah, who organised the drive, had suspended it saying the BMC was not clearing collected waste; 90% garbage removed now

mumbai Updated: Nov 30, 2017 16:06 IST
Yesha Kotak
Yesha Kotak
Hindustan Times
A photo of the beach clean-up uploaded by Afroz Shah on his Twitter account.
A photo of the beach clean-up uploaded by Afroz Shah on his Twitter account.

A week after city-based lawyer Afroz Shah decided to suspend the Versova beach clean-up after 109 weeks, he has decided to resume the clean-up drive from this weekend.

“When ground reality changes, one has to accept the change and move on,” Shah said.

Last week, Shah had said that he was suspending his campaign owing to the administrative lethargy on the part of the civic body in clearing the garbage collected by his team and volunteers. He claimed that the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) had failed to clear 5 lakh kg of garbage from the beach since July. Shah also alleged that his team was being threatened by the local goons.

Speaking to HT on Wednesday, Shah said 90% of garbage has been cleared by 120 trucks by the BMC and the police had taken stern action against the goons.

As part of the phase two of his campaign, Shah has decided to term his campaign as a drive against marine litter because he believes that the campaign is not just about cleaning the beach.

The group will resume its drive from Saturday, and will organise an awareness campaign against marine litter on Sunday.

“All this while we were conducting awareness on the south-end of the beach, asking slum dwellers to not dispose their waste in water. But, now I want to make it more obvious and spread awareness regarding marine litter,” Shah said.

After Shah decided to suspend the campaign, he received support from people across the globe, including Minister of state for housing and urban affairs Hardeep Singh Puri, CM Devendra Fadnavis and Yuva Sena chief Aditya Thackeray.

Shah and his neighbour Harbansh Mathur started the clean-up drive in 2015. Till the 109th week, Shah and his team, along with volunteers, had cleared 7-million kg of garbage from the beach. However, at any point of time there is 11,500 kg of garbage along 2.5-km-long beach.

Of the waste present at the beach, 70% comes from Malad and nine other such creeks, 20% from storm water drain openings along its coastline, and the remaining 10% is thrown by citizens.

First Published: Nov 30, 2017 11:56 IST

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