More equipment, labourers for beach cleanup

120 staffers to clean Juhu beach, three machines to be used

July 21, 2018 12:30 am | Updated 12:30 am IST

Eyesore:  A large amount of tar balls washed on to the Juhu beach on Friday.

Eyesore: A large amount of tar balls washed on to the Juhu beach on Friday.

Mumbai: The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has increased the number of cleaning machines and labourers at Juhu beach in new contracts after repeated complaints of garbage on the seafront from local residents. The number of staffers has been increased to 120 from 20 this monsoon considering the large amount of trash that is washed on to the beach during high tide. Similar steps have been taken at Versova beach.

Garbage getting washed on to the beach is an all-year phenomenon, but especially during the monsoon, when the sea is rough, tonnes of trash get deposited at Marine Drive and the city’s beaches. This year, the corporation has collected around 400 metric tonne of trash from Juhu beach alone during high tide. Since this is a regular complaint, local residents had approached BMC to oust a tainted contractor and draft a new tender document. They demanded more machines and labourers for the job. A new tender document was drafted and bids were invited.

The corporation has shortlisted M/s Spectron Engineers for the job. The contract costs ₹21 crore and involves round-the-clock maintenance of the beach. A proposal was passed in the civic standing committee in May. The old contractor’s tenure ended in June, following which the new one has taken charge.

“Every monsoon, a large amount of garbage is deposited on the beach, which requires a more intense cleaning effort. Therefore, we made the requisite changes in the tender document itself. We have increased the number of machines as well as labourers for cleaning beaches,” said Vishwas Shankarwar, Deputy Municipal Commissioner (Solid Waste Management).

The number of beach-cleaning machines have gone up to three from two, the number of compactors to two from one and the number of labourers to 60 from 20 round the year, in shifts. During the monsoon, the number of labourers has been doubled to 120 (in shifts).

Similar changes were made to the contract of maintaining Versova beach, and work has been awarded to a contractor whose tenure will start from August 1. The beach was in the spotlight after activist Afroz Shah’s efforts to clean it gained international attention. Shah is in his 144th week of cleaning the beach and has received international acclaim for his efforts.

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