Clean-up marshals play dirty, BMC scraps drive

Mumbai Clean-Up drive to end by Dec 31, civic body will devise new one to keep city hygienic.

mumbai Updated: Dec 02, 2010 02:32 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times

After complaints of corruption surfaced, the municipal corporation decided to dump its controversial clean-up Mumbai drive in the bin.

On Wednesday, the civic administration announced that its three-year-old Mumbai Clean-Up campaign will be scrapped, and another scheme, aimed at keeping the city clean, will be introduced by December 31.

Launched in 2007, Mumbai Clean-Up was constantly under fire from corporators.

The civic body had authorised private agencies to provide these marshals because it faced a staff crunch.

The corporators had accused the 373 clean-up marshals of high-handedness and corruption because they had the authority to fine offenders for spitting, urinating or littering in public places.

“This clean-up scheme has proved to be a total fiasco. We demand that this scheme be scrapped and a new one be devised by the BMC to keep the city clean,” demanded Sunil Prabhu, Shiv Sena corporator during Wednesday’s standing committee meeting.

The committee members were hearing a proposal to extend the contracts of the five private agencies that provide clean-up marshals by three months.

But the corporators across party lines said they wanted to discontinue the contracts because the marshals seemed more interested in ‘exhorting’ money than doing their jobs.

Standing committee chairman Rahul Shewale alleged: “There is no way to control the activities of these clean-up marshals. They have been instances where they have blackmailed doctors to give them money or they will charge them for illegal dumping of medical waste.”

After additional municipal commissioner Aseem Gupta assured them that the corporation would come up with a revised or a new scheme within a month, the committee granted the contract extension to the agencies until December 31.

Gupta added that the number of nuisance detectors — civic workers who clean the city but cannot fine offenders — should be increased instead of wasting money on private marshals.

There are currently 30 nuisance detectors in the city.

NCP corporator Niyaz Vanu suggested that civic employees should be given the charge in the new clean-up scheme and not marshals from private agencies. “Why share a part of the revenue with a private agency,” he asked.

According to the present agreement, 50% of the revenue generated by the clean-up marshals is given to private agencies.

First Published: Dec 02, 2010 02:31 IST