Mumbai Buzz: Return of Cleanup Marshals | Ridership of AC trains increases… and more

And in other news in Mumbai: The Bombay High Court pulls up BMC; Govt bungalows default on water bills; Massive fire at Navi Mumbai MIDC.

Cleanup Marshals are back in Mumbai

“The Cleanup Marshal” scheme has been reintroduced by the BMC from 2nd April after a gap of two years. The scheme has been launched on a pilot basis in the A Ward. The marshals are now equipped with a mobile app via which they can issue penalty receipts to people caught littering. When launched earlier, there were complaints that the marshals were not issuing receipts and were carrying out extortion of tourists: the reason why the scheme was discontinued by the BMC in 2011.

This system does away with physical receipts. Penalties can also be paid online by scanning a QR code. Fines of anywhere between Rs 200 to Rs 1000 will be charged for littering, defecating and spitting in public places. The marshals collected 2800 in fines on Wednesday. The BMC is planning to introduce the marshals in all 23 wards of the city in the near future.

Source: The Times of India, The Indian Express

Ridership of AC trains increases

With temperatures soaring in Mumbai, there has also been a rise in the number of tickets being purchased for the AC locals on the Western Railway (WR). On 1st April, WR reported a distinct rise in ticket sales with 3,561 season tickets and 23,623 journey tickets bought for its AC suburban trains. The numbers have increased steadily: February saw an average of 1,431 season passes and 17,922 journey tickets daily and in March it rose to 1,452 season passes and 17,981 tickets.

The Central railway also reported an increase in ticket sales on April 1, having sold 2,434 season tickets and 16,885 journey tickets for its air-conditioned suburban trains. 

Source: The Free Press Journal

“What is the price of a human life in this city?” asks Bombay HC to BMC

Taking suo motu cognisance of the death of two children by falling into a water tank on April 1, the Bombay HC asked the BMC, “What is the price of a human life in this city?” The children, aged five and four, had gone to play when they fell into the water tank at the Maharshi Karve garden run by the corporation. The tank did not have a proper lid, leading to the tragic accident.

A division bench of Justice Gautam Patel and Justice Kamal Khata initiated a PIL in the case. Referring to news articles about the budgetary constraints faced by the BMC, the HC asked if these constraints were an answer for the BMC’s failure to provide minimum safety measures.

Source: The Times of India, The Print

Read more: ‘Samman, Suraksha, Adhikar’: Where we have failed the true warriors of the Swachh movement

Government bungalows default on water charges

According to data collected by RTI activist Shakeel Ahmed, BMC records show that eleven government bungalows including those occupied by CM Eknath Shinde, and Deputy CMs Devendra Fadnavis and Ajit Pawar have defaulted on paying water bills between 2021 and 2024. The total outstanding of all government bungalows amounts to Rs 88.59 lakh.

Water dripping from tap
Representational image: Government bungalows in south Mumbai are defaulting on water charges according to data from BMC. Pic: Luis Tosta via Wikimedia Commons

Varsha and Nandanvan the two bungalows, which are used by CM Shinde have raked up an outstanding of  Rs 18.48 lakh in water bills from January 2022 and March 2022. Whereas Meghdoot and Sagar which are being used by Fadnavis have to pay an outstanding amount of Rs 2.73 lakh from April 2022. The bungalow being used by Pawar, Devgiri, has got unpaid water charges of Rs 4.38 lakh since April 2023. 

Senior officials from the Public Works Department who are responsible for the maintenance of these bungalows told The Indian Express that the bills for the last financial year will be cleared by Friday and the last date for doing so is April 28.

Source: The Indian Express

Massive fire at MIDC in Navi Mumbai

A huge fire broke out at Navbharat Industrial chemical company at MIDC in Pawane, Navi Mumbai. According to Surendra Choudhari, fire officer of Emergency Response Station (ERS) of  Thane Belapur Industries Association (TBIA), the chemicals in the factory became fodder for the fire. Consequently the fire spread to three adjacent units as well.

Besides using the fire engine from the ERS, fire engines from other fire stations had to be called to extinguish the fire. 12 private water tankers also had to be used to douse it.  It took twelve hours to bring the fire under control. There were no casualties as workers evacuated as soon as the fire broke out.

Source: The Times of India, The Indian Express

(Compiled by Shruti Gokarn)

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