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We must work together for a cleaner, greener Mumbai

Topic of the week: The BMC is planning to offer tax concessions to housing societies that follow green practices and keeps their localities clean. Do you think this is a good proposal? What would it take for your housing society to pitch in?

mumbai Updated: Jul 15, 2012 01:09 IST
Hindustan Times

The BMC's proposal to reward housing societies that follow green practices is laudable. But it should lay down clear guidelines as to what green practices housing societies must follow.

I think planting trees and thereby keeping the environment healthy and green should be made mandatory. All societies must use water conservation facilities at home, as well as for gardening purposes. We should also use alternative sources of energy such as solar energy.

Lastly, the waste generated by all households should be recycled. In fact, societies that waste water and electricity should be punished.

- SN Kabra

A repeat of rainwater harvesting flop show?

The BMC is cleverly passing on its responsibilities to citizens. The proposal doesn't specify what a housing society needs to do to avail of tax concessions? And what exactly is the percentage of the concessions? All in all, it's a very vague proposal.

On the one hand, the BMC asks housing societies to segregate wet and dry garbage. And then it comes in and mixes the garbage together - or leaves it unattended, to rot and cause disease. How can a locality ever be clean in such a city?

I think, instead of the BMC rating housing societies on the basis of their cleanliness and hygiene, the citizens should rate BMC officials on how effectively they perform their civic duties.

In the past too we have seen the fate of similar projects initiated by the BMC.

Take its rainwater harvesting scheme, which failed miserably. My question is, how many BMC ward offices and how much of the BMC headquarters building practised the rainwater harvesting themselves?

- Deendayal Lulla

A great green drive. We must all participate

Many irresponsible citizens dump garbage in nullahs resulting in clogging. This is harmful to citizens' health. Mumbai is an aspiring global city. It is the duty of every Mumbaiite to help the BMC keep the city clean and green.

It's great to see that the BMC is encouraging housing societies to maintain cleanliness. Local participation is a superb idea to achieve this goal. The concessions will motivate individuals and groups to work extra hard.

- Yogesh Kabra

We must plant trees, install solar panels

As a resident of Navi Mumbai for the past 17 years, I have been taking a personal interest in keeping my locality clean.

Almost every building in Navi Mumbai boasts green gardens and beautiful lawns. In fact, the skyscrapers and promising infrastructure have raised property prices here.

However, over the past few years, chemical waste, open drains and dumping of filth and plastic all over have begun to pollute our city.

Mumbai and Navi Mumbai seriously need to follow a few green practices more diligently.

We must install solar panels. Building materials should be sourced locally to reduce carbon footprints and gas emissions.

Residents too should avoid using paints, primers and finishes that are not environment-friendly.

- CK Subramaniam

Why doesn't the BMC just do its job?

This drive is nothing but a way for the BMC to wash its hands of its own basic responsibility of maintaining cleanliness in the city.

The BMC is just full of contradictions. On the one hand, it talks about protecting the environment. Yet all its official work is still done on paper. Why can't it start an online system where citizens can register all grievances?

Recently, the BMC asked citizens to send in photographs of dangerous trees with each application letter for trimming or pruning. Isn't it ironic that the BMC talks about saving the environment and promoting green practices but is still actively encouraging the use of paper?

Often, trimmed branches also lie on roads and pavements for days. This causes great inconvenience to pedestrians and traffic. Why does the BMC need a separate team to trim trees and another one to collect chopped branches. Such chaos defies all logic. The BMC really needs to get its own act together and stop passing the buck.

- Deepak A

A great initiative. We must all work together

The BMC's proposal will definitely encourage many housing societies to keep their vicinity clean.

Mumbai is increasingly becoming a polluted and dirty city. In such a scenario, the BMC has come up with a smart idea to involve citizens and make them equal partners in the effort to keep the city clean and green.

All housing societies should actively participate in the drive.

As a social activist, I would start by switching to LED lights in my housing society. This would help save electricity.

We should also install solar panels on rooftops. Just as an experiment, why not even try windmills? We would also immediately start planting trees.

Besides serving as supplements of oxygen, the tree cover would also beautify our surroundings.

As Mumbai is facing a water shortage, housing societies should try rainwater harvesting. After all, why should we let all that rain water go down the drain, literally?

Yet again, to save water, waste water from kitchen and bathrooms could be recycled and used for gardening.

- Jayanthy S Maniam

First Published: Jul 15, 2012 01:06 IST