Untreated garbage is thrown into the rivers, sea

Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) workers clear the garbage washed ashore during high tide, on the promenade along the Marine Drive, in Mumbai, Saturday, Aug 3, 2019. (PTI Photo)

For Mumbai and the larger Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR), garbage is a big issue. Though the BrihanMumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) and other municipal and local self-government bodies have well-oiled machinery to tackle the issue of garbage generation, the sight of a heap of garbage in the corner of a street is not something that comes as a surprise.

According to the figures of BMC’s solid waste management department, Mumbai generates 6,900 metric tonnes of garbage per day, one of the highest by any city in India.

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For disposal, the capacity of the dumps is limited and there are protests by residents.

Though not by BMC, a lot of garbage is thrown into the four big Mumbai rivers - Mithi, Oshiwara, Dahisar and Poisar. Garbage is also dumped in open areas.

The impact is felt during the monsoon when rains clog the drains resulting in inundation of roads and railway tracks. Besides, occasional fire in the garbage dump yard in Deonar leads to drop in air quality.

And, whenever there is a high tide over 4.5 m, tides bring the garbage onto the shores from the Arabian Sea and to the creeks in the MMR.

The use of plastic and thermocol despite the ban is also an issue.

In an affidavit filed before a division bench of Bombay High Court, the BMC had said, “There are 107 storm-water drain outfalls which drain into the Arabian sea directly. In suburbs
and extended suburbs, open storm-water drains are constructed on
both sides of the road. The flow from such open drains is discharged into nullahs, creeks or the sea. Garbage and solid waste are thrown by citizens into such drains. Also, the release of sullage into such drains is then discharged into the sea without any treatment.”  

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