Apart from ruining Mumbai’s aesthetics, potholes and flooding are also a threat to vehicles and more importantly, the people who live in the city.(HT Photo)
Apart from ruining Mumbai’s aesthetics, potholes and flooding are also a threat to vehicles and more importantly, the people who live in the city.(HT Photo)

This monsoon, let’s make a clean sweep

One of Mumbai’s most compelling images of recent times is that of garbage thrown back at the city by the sea. Beaches are strewn with all the debris of human excess and callousness. This contains a dire lesson for everyone: no one is going to clean up the mess we have caused but us.
By Ayaz Memon | Hindustan Times
PUBLISHED ON JUN 24, 2016 12:24 AM IST

Mumbai’s monsoon has an allure that goes beyond just some famous songs in Bollywood films as anybody who has lived in the city for even a few years will readily testify.

The rainy season is memorable not just for the relief it brings from the sweltering summer but also other dimensions of life it brings along, esoteric as they may be.

The mighty rolling waves of the Arabian Sea crashing on to the breakers at Marine Drive and other areas along the magnificent coastline is something that nobody who has ever seen it is unlikely to forget.

Eating corn or ragda pattice somehow seems to acquire a new pleasure in this season too. For those with more expansive taste, there is the arrival of the langda mango from up north to savour; as also debate whether it is better than the alphonso, the pride of Maharashtra.

There are commuting hardships of course, and every now and then one can get ‘caught’ ill-prepared in a sudden downpour. But the monsoon is hardly ever regretted. Indeed, there is a tingling sense of adventure in getting wet in the rain, which is acquired in early childhood and never fades away.

Now that I’ve spent some paragraphs painting this wonderful picture, let me do a course correction and tell you how the romance of the Mumbai monsoon has got besmirched in the past decade or so.

The two most manifest problems of the city during the monsoon are potholes, which recur every year with the profusion of acne on a teenager’s face, and the frequent flooding that takes place, sometimes even after a brief downpour.

Apart from ruining Mumbai’s aesthetics, potholes and flooding are also a threat to vehicles and more importantly, the people who live in the city. Diseases have also become rampant during the monsoon.

One would think that the solution to both these problems would be simple. If roads are repaired with expertise and due diligence, why should potholes reappear every year? And if the drainage system is maintained properly, surely instances of flooding would be rare.

Since the solution has been elusive, clearly something has been remiss. Where the issue of potholes is concerned, I won’t dwell further on it save to say everybody is now aware of the hanky-panky that has been going on. Thankfully, some remedial processes are finally underway.

The issue of the city getting flooded frequently is more bothersome and health hazardous. Even here I will keep the BMC’s role (or lack of it) out of the purview of this column and focus instead on how our own callousness is aggravating the problem.

One of Mumbai’s most compelling images of recent times is that of garbage thrown back at the city by the sea. Beaches are strewn with all the debris of human excess and callousness.

This contains a dire lesson for everyone: no one is going to clean up the mess we have caused but us. Yes, politicians, bureaucrats and corporation workers have to share some of the blame, but we have a role to play too.

In spite of Mumbai having a comparatively better garbage pick-up and disposal system than other Indian cities, people still leave garbage outside their doors as part of our ‘out of sight, out of mind’ national ethos.

The monsoon may have ended the fires at the Deonar dumping ground for now, but the dangers will not have vanished four months down the line. We need to tackle waste management on a clichéd war footing if we don’t want to be buried alive under our own detritus.

One sensible solution stares us in the face, and interestingly, this was mooted by the BMC commissioner Ajoy Mehta at a recent open house meeting I attended: recycling waste and debris by assigning it monetary value.

We are so good at it when it comes to paper and beer bottles, because this waste can be been monetised. Of the rest, we keep our homes clean, but everything else around us filthy.

For instance, kitchen waste, if it becomes compost, could be worth its weight in gold for gardeners and small-scale farmers. Plastic waste is being used to make roads, most effectively one hears in Bangalore.

By reusing and selling what is not needed, a win-win situation can be created. So monetising all waste is the route to go. This seems almost like a bribe to ourselves to keep our city clean, but since we are like that only, why not!

SHARE THIS ARTICLE ON
Close
Increased fares of autorickshaw and taxis were implemented from Monday in the city. The fare hike was announced by Maharashtra transport minister Anil Parab on February 22. (HT PHOTO)
Increased fares of autorickshaw and taxis were implemented from Monday in the city. The fare hike was announced by Maharashtra transport minister Anil Parab on February 22. (HT PHOTO)

Taxi meters in Mumbai not recalibrated yet, association has another demand

By Aroosa Ahmed, Mumbai
PUBLISHED ON MAR 05, 2021 12:34 AM IST
Four days after the implementation of the new taxi tariff, the process to recalibrate meters is yet to begin
Close
Representational picture.
Representational picture.

Mumbai: MUHS releases SOPs for final-year MBBS exams

By Shreya Bhandary, Mumbai
PUBLISHED ON MAR 05, 2021 12:32 AM IST
Days after several final year students approached the state medical education minister Amit Deshmukh and Aaditya Thackeray, state minister of tourism and environment, requesting that their upcoming exams either be postponed or conducted online, the Maharashtra University of Health Sciences (MUHS) released circular stating rules of conduct for examinations starting Monday
Close
Kids cooling off at Banganga tank. (Anshuman Poyrekar/HT Photo)
Kids cooling off at Banganga tank. (Anshuman Poyrekar/HT Photo)

Mumbai: Mercury at 38.1 degrees Celsius, warmest day of season

By Prayag Arora Desai, Mumbai
PUBLISHED ON MAR 05, 2021 12:28 AM IST
The city witnessed its warmest day of the season so far on Thursday
Close
Nana Patole, Maharashtra Congress chief. (HT PHOTO)
Nana Patole, Maharashtra Congress chief. (HT PHOTO)

Maharashtra: Congress objects to Ram Mandir donation drive

By Faisal Malik, Mumbai
UPDATED ON MAR 05, 2021 12:16 AM IST
The Congress party on Thursday raised objections to an ongoing campaign to collect donations for the construction of the Ram Mandir at Ayodhya
Close
Commuters standing maintaining social distancing norms at Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus, in Mumbai (ANI).
Commuters standing maintaining social distancing norms at Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus, in Mumbai (ANI).

Maharashtra records 8,998 new Covid-19 cases, 1,104 fresh infections in Mumbai

By hindustantimes.com | Written by Karan Manral, New Delhi
PUBLISHED ON MAR 04, 2021 09:58 PM IST
Maharashtra’s infection tally has risen to 2,188,183 and its death toll has gone up to 52,340. The active caseload of Mumbai, meanwhile, crossed 9,000 to reach 9,041.
Close
Searches that began on Wednesday at properties linked to Anurag Kashyap and Taapsee Pannu.
Searches that began on Wednesday at properties linked to Anurag Kashyap and Taapsee Pannu.

650 cr income discrepancy, chats found during I-T raids on Anurag, Taapsee

By hindustantimes.com | Written by Kanishka Sarkar, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
UPDATED ON MAR 04, 2021 10:08 PM IST
The federal agency began the search on Wednesday morning at the properties linked to Kashyap, Pannu and Reliance Entertainment group CEO Shibhashish in connection with the tax evasion probe against Phantom films.
Close
The fire safety audit was conducted in the backdrop of the Bhandara fire that broke out in a government hospital in January, killing ten infants. (Hindustan Times)
The fire safety audit was conducted in the backdrop of the Bhandara fire that broke out in a government hospital in January, killing ten infants. (Hindustan Times)

Maharashtra: Fire safety audits completed in 323 state-run hospitals

Posted by Harshit Sabarwal | PTI
PUBLISHED ON MAR 04, 2021 07:46 PM IST
In a written reply to a question raised by BJP MLA Atul Bhatkalkar, state Health Minister Rajesh Tope said the public works department is preparing the estimate plan for fire safety for 170 hospitals, of which the plan for 74 is ready.
Close
Rathod, a four-time legislator from the Digras assembly constituency in Yavatmal district, has denied all charges and demanded a fair investigation.(Anshuman Poyrekar/HT)
Rathod, a four-time legislator from the Digras assembly constituency in Yavatmal district, has denied all charges and demanded a fair investigation.(Anshuman Poyrekar/HT)

Maharashtra governor accepts state forest minister Sanjay Rathod’s resignation

By hindustantimes.com | Written by Harshit Sabarwal, New Delhi
UPDATED ON MAR 04, 2021 08:01 PM IST
Rathod, whose name had emerged in connection with the death of a 22-year old woman, tendered his resignation to chief minister and Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray on February 28.
Close
The I-T department conducted raids on properties of Anurag Kashyap and Tapsee Pannu on Wednesday.
The I-T department conducted raids on properties of Anurag Kashyap and Tapsee Pannu on Wednesday.

Found discrepancy in income worth 650 cr: I-T dept after Anurag, Taapsee raid

By hindustantimes.com, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
UPDATED ON MAR 04, 2021 08:19 PM IST
The searches, part of a tax evasion probe against Phantom Films, were carried out across 30 locations in Mumbai and Pune on Wednesday.
Close
Kangana Ranaut and her sister Rangoli Chandel.(HT Archive)
Kangana Ranaut and her sister Rangoli Chandel.(HT Archive)

Police submit report in court on probe against Kangana Ranaut on posts

PTI, Mumbai
PUBLISHED ON MAR 04, 2021 05:32 PM IST
According to the complaint, Ranaut's sister Rangoli Chandel had posted an objectionable message on Twitter in April last year, targeting a particular community, following which her account was suspended.
Close
Maharashtra home minister Anil Deshmukh. (HT Archive)
Maharashtra home minister Anil Deshmukh. (HT Archive)

Women were not forced to dance at a hostel: Maharashtra govt probe

PUBLISHED ON MAR 04, 2021 05:21 PM IST
It was also found that the complainant is mentally unstable, according to her husband, who has earlier requested that she be hospitalised, home minister Anil Deshmukh told the House
Close
The education minister had said in January that the state government had already reduced the syllabus by 25 per cent so as to reduce the burden on students.(HT file photo)
The education minister had said in January that the state government had already reduced the syllabus by 25 per cent so as to reduce the burden on students.(HT file photo)

Board exams in Maha will be held as scheduled: Minister amid surging Covid cases

By hindustantimes.com | Written by Harshit Sabarwal, New Delhi
UPDATED ON MAR 04, 2021 04:08 PM IST
A Maharashtra education board official had told news agency PTI on February 27 that exams for both these classes will be held between April 23 and May 21 after they had been postponed from the usual schedule (between February and March) due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Close
Leader of opposition and former chief minister Devendra Fadnavis(HT file)
Leader of opposition and former chief minister Devendra Fadnavis(HT file)

BJP MLAs stage protest outside Maharashtra assembly

ANI
PUBLISHED ON MAR 04, 2021 03:21 PM IST
  • The Opposition claimed that the state government has allotted tenders to contractors in creating Covid-19 infrastructure without proper procedures and hence there are irregularities.
Close
"A four-woman officer committee had been constituted to look into the incident yesterday and they have reported that no police officer was involved in the incident," Deshmukh said while speaking at the Maharashtra Assembly.(HT File photo)
"A four-woman officer committee had been constituted to look into the incident yesterday and they have reported that no police officer was involved in the incident," Deshmukh said while speaking at the Maharashtra Assembly.(HT File photo)

Jalgaon incident: Maharashtra home minister Deshmukh denies engagement of police

ANI, Mumbai
PUBLISHED ON MAR 04, 2021 03:19 PM IST
He further said that during the cultural program which took place on March 1, one of the women removed clothes by herself and there was no involvement of the police.
Close
The building where the income tax department raided actor-director Anurag Kashyap's residence, at Oshiwara, in Mumbai on March 3. (Satish Bate / Hindustan Times)
The building where the income tax department raided actor-director Anurag Kashyap's residence, at Oshiwara, in Mumbai on March 3. (Satish Bate / Hindustan Times)

Anurag Kashyap, Taapsee Pannu under I-T scanner: All you need to know about the raids

By HT Correspondent | Edited by Sameer
UPDATED ON MAR 04, 2021 10:43 AM IST
The income tax department on Wednesday raided the homes and offices of filmmakers Anurag Kashyap, Vikas Bahl, actor Taapsee Pannu, and other film and media personalities, triggering allegations from Opposition parties that the action was politically motivated to muzzle dissent
Close
SHARE
Story Saved
OPEN APP