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Stinking truth: Swachh Mumbai remains a far-fetched dream

Garbage-filled plot near Bandra railway station leaves doubts of city becoming swachh fast

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Stinking truth: Swachh Mumbai remains a far-fetched dream
An open plot belonging to WR adjacent to the railway tracks near Bandra (E) has become a functional dumping ground of sorts for illegal slums.
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Even as BMC and Railways have been time and again emphasising on their efforts on implementation of Swachh Bharat Mission, an open plot belonging to Western Railway (WR) adjacent to the railway tracks near Bandra (East) has become a functional dumping ground of sorts for illegal slums.

Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis had promised that most of the cities in Maharashtra will be clean cities by 2017, the plight of this plot does not create give any impression of that sort. Commuters walking on the foot over bridge (FOB) connecting Bandra station to its eastern side, state that the plot is an ugly sight full of plastic and other waste. They also state that with so much garbage dumped on the plot, it would become a breeding ground for diseases once rain begins.

When DNA contacted Ashok Khairnar, Assistant Municipal Commissioner, H/East ward, he said that they will be sending WR a notice. "The plot of land belongs to WR and hence it's their duty to ensure garbage is not dumped on it. We will send our staff for an inspection and see how the garbage can be cleared. The railways will have to bear the expenses for it," he said.

The plot was earlier encroached upon by slums, which were demolished by BMC in 2017 and then a boundary wall was constructed. While the construction debris was never removed, waste from Garib Nagar, Behrampada was dumped there over a period of time. The waste includes plastic and fabric waste generated from multiple units operating inside the slums.

A railway official from Bandra station said that during summers locals set the garbage on fire causing smoke to spread all over the area. "We are now worried as once rains start garbage will begin to decay and foul smell will envelope the entire station premises. Another worry would be that this plot will become breeding ground for mosquitoes," he said.

Chief Public Relation Officer (CPRO) Ravinder Bhakar said that during a meeting WR had requested BMC to provide facilities for waste collection in slums near the plot so that garbage is not dumped on it as waste management is the responsibility of the civic body. "We will coordinate with BMC and see how we can resolve this issue and clear the garbage," he added.

Meanwhile, local councillor Haji Halim Khan pinned the blame on both WR and BMC for this mess. "BMC carried out demolition but the debris was never removed. Also, nothing has been done about the garbage. We had also suggested that a parking lot be created here by WR to resolve congestion on the east side but WR has just left the plot without making any use of it," he said.

Dumping Ground

  • The plot was earlier encroached upon by slums, which were demolished by BMC in 2017 and then a boundary wall was constructed 
  • Construction debris was never removed, waste from nearby areas was dumped over a period of time
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