Versova facelift inspires Maharashtra Maritime Board to clean 19 beaches in Mumbai | mumbai news | Hindustan Times
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Versova facelift inspires Maharashtra Maritime Board to clean 19 beaches in Mumbai

Mumbai city news: The project aims to boost tourism under MMB’s coastal protection and management programme

mumbai Updated: Jun 05, 2017 10:07 IST
Badri Chatterjee
Badri Chatterjee
Hindustan Times
Mumbai city news,Versova,Maharashtra Maritime Board
Versova beach was cleaned of 53 lakh kg of garbage by a citizen group.(Hindustan Times)

After Versova beach was cleaned of 53 lakh kg of garbage by a citizen group, 19 other filthy beaches in Mumbai could be rid of trash by next year.

After meeting fishing communities and Afroz Shah, who headed the Versova beach clean-up, the Maharashtra Maritime Board (MMB) told HT they would follow the same model to clean 19 other beaches and Marine Drive.

The 18 beaches are Madh, Marve, Gorai, Manori, Chimbai, Mahim, Aksa, Erangal, Uttan, Vasai, Dadar, Dana Pani, Silver, Hamla, Pirwadi Beach (Navi Mumbai), Girgaum Chowpatty, Juhu and Kalamb.

The project aims to boost tourism under MMB’s Nirmal Sagar Tat Abhiyaan — a coastal protection and management programme — that received chief minister Devendra Fadnavis’ approval in May last year.

“Except for Mumbai, we had already adopted 76 beaches in Maharashtra. We have been cleaning them since September last year,” said Atul Patne, chief executive officer, MMB.

“Though the basic responsibility for keeping beaches garbage-free lies with the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), we want to follow the Versova beach model, seek community participation and put city beaches on par with international standards.”

NGO ReefWatch Marine Conservation studied Uttan, Gorai, Aksa, Madh, Versova, Juhu, Dadar and Girgaum Chowpatty between November 2015 and March 2016 and found an average of 3.6 tonnes of garbage on each beach.

To boost tourism, MMB and the BMC plan to organise a Versova beach festival in November, added Patne.

“With Afroz Shah taking all the efforts over the past two years, we would like to showcase the transformation of Versova as a model for other city beaches. We will have the civic body to join us for the festival and Versova will be developed as a model for water sports, beach sports and fish tourism,” Patne said, adding the model would be replicated at remaining beaches.

Shah said that future plans for the cleanup at Juhu and Versova were also discussed. “The meeting helped to push the Versova cleanup into a city-wide movement with the fishermen community on board. We will now be using small boats, setting up nets along the creek and clearing trash from the mangroves along Malad and Manori creek over the next few months,” he said.

Meanwhile, Versova residents will be joined by 500 employees from leading private banks in the city on Saturday morning for the 86th week of beach cleanup. The group has removed 53 lakh kg of trash in 85 weeks.

Here is the break-up of trash found at 10 beaches* in Mumbai

TRASHAMOUNT (in %)
Plastic bags22
Food wrappers16
Plastic fragments9
Cigarettes 6
Glass fragments4
Bottle or container caps4
Cups (including polystyrene, foam cups)4
Fabric pieces4
Plastic rope/small net pieces3
Footwear2
Cardboard2
All other items (metal, aluminium, disposal cigarette lighters, utensils, soaps, tin cans, jugs, containers, hard foamed film, construction material, oil etc)24

(*These ten sampled beaches are Juhu, Versova, Aksa, Chimbai, Erangal, Madh, Dadar/Prabhadevi, Girgaon chowpatty and Uttan virgin.)

Top three polluted sandy beaches

•Juhu

12,000 kg:Total garbage that can be identified at one point of time at the beach

Length of the beach: 4 km

•Versova

11,500 kg: Total garbage that can be identified at one point of time at the beach

Length of the beach: 2.5 km

•Aksa

10,300 kg:Total garbage that can be identified at one point of time at the beach

Length of the beach: 1.5 km

Top 4 polluted rocky beaches

•Chimbai

30,000kg: Total garbage that can be identified at one point of time at the beach

Length of the beach: 500m

•Erangal

20,000kg: Total garbage that can be identified at one point of time at the beach

Length of the beach: 1 km

•Madh

10,200kg: Total garbage that can be identified at one point of time at the beach

Length of the beach: 2 km

•Dadar/Prabhadevi

7,500 kg: Total garbage that can be identified at one point of time at the beach

Length of the beach: 2.5 km

Relatively cleaner beaches

•Girgaon chowpatty

1,700 kg: Total garbage that can be identified at one point of time at the beach

Length of the beach: 1.2 km

•Gorai

1,200kg: Total garbage that can be identified at one point of time at the beach

Length of the beach: 2.2 km

•Uttan virgin

500 kg: Total quantum of garbage that can be identified at point of time at the beach

Length of the beach: 800 m

(Source: Data consolidated by ReefWatch Marine Conservation as part of their ‘Clean Urban Coasts’ report from November 2015 to May 2016)