While Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) officials were busy cleaning beaches alongside CM Eknath Shinde during the Swachhata Hi Seva campaign on Sunday, residents of Chandivli took matters into their own hands by cleaning a persistent garbage spot in their area. Despite numerous complaints, the civic spot had failed to address the issue. This problematic spot is located in front of the Meenatai Thackeray ground and the civic maternity home in Chandivli.
The residents of Chandivli had been lodging complaints about this garbage spot for several months, but the BMC had not taken their concerns seriously. While the civic body team previously cleaned up the garbage upon notification, it was a temporary solution as the trash would accumulate again within minutes. With the BMC’s attention focused on the national-level Swachhata Hi Seva campaign on Sunday, the residents decided to tackle the issue themselves, as the corporation officials were preoccupied with the event. On Sunday morning, a group of residents took it upon themselves to clean the spot, using the Gandhigiri approach to send a message.
Following the Gandhigiri demonstration by Chandivli residents, a BMC officer visited the garbage spot and pledged action. Mandeep Singh Makkar, founder of the Chandivali Citizens’ Welfare Association (CCWA), commented, “A BMC official requested us to file a written complaint. However, it is the BMC’s responsibility to clear the garbage spot on the road and restrict access to their own ground. Why do they wait for a citizens’ agitation even after receiving clear instructions from CM Eknath Shinde?” He further said that if the BMC does not clear the spot within the next seven days, the residents will take stronger measures.
Nilesh Wakode, another resident of Chandivli, said, “We heard that the BMC allocated R3 crore to develop the ground. But what good is the ground if its entrance remains blocked due to a garbage bin? The garbage accumulates after hawkers leave the road at night by dumping waste. Instead of resolving the issue, BMC officers are deflecting blame on to each other.”
Swachhata Hi Seva campaign is a mass movement, says CM
As part of the Central government’s national initiative, Swachhata Hi Seva, the civic body organised a cleanliness drive with public participation at 178 locations on Sunday.
Chief Minister Eknath Shinde, while participating in the campaign exhorted citizens to also take part. “The initiative is not just about taking photographs; we are creating a mass movement across the entire state of Maharashtra. Everyone should pick up a broom and hit the streets for a cleanliness drive,” he said.