The population which has become a major concern in our country has given way to another big problem of waste management. In a city, like Mumbai where everything is a concrete jungle, the truth is that managing waste has become a mammoth problem. Over the past month, like-minded citizens and 12 NGOs joined hands to remove 6,000 kg of trash.
In this waste management drive, they covered a 10-acre mangrove patch and a water body at sector 8, Charkop in Kandivli (west). The 6,000 kg trash, mostly comprised of plastic that has become an epidemic-like situation to the city. Some of the NGO’s who helped these good citizens include the Wildlife Crime Control Bureau (WCCB), the state forest department and the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC).
Wearing gloves and caps, these citizens collected 30 large bags weighing 100 kg each during their first cleanup drive as a run-up to World Environment Day. According to Hindustan Times, “We decided to make this a continuous drive so that this natural area remains garbage free and request citizens not to make such natural spots a dumping ground,” said Kishore Shetty, one of the residents.
The Charkop mangroves known as a reserved forest, is a habitat for over 250 bird species, reptiles, crustaceans and fish, according to the Bombay Natural History Society (BNHS). Around 2,500 infringements have been dismissed from the Charkop mangroves.
“For the longest time, we had been witnessing the unnecessary destruction of this natural area through recurring fires and hacked trees and needed to do something about it. So, we came together as a group and were supported by authorities to ensure this important bird habitat is protected,” said Mili Shetty, one of the residents who has led the cleanup and has been an environmental crusader in safeguarding the Charkop mangroves.
According to a detailed assessment of mangrove patches in Mumbai, there are over 50,000 tons of plastic are strewn within the mangrove patches.
“The trash is generally stuck to the breathing roots of mangrove trees. When they are removed and the roots are free, there is better nourishment of these trees and also controls flooding during monsoon,” said N Vasudevan, additional principal chief conservator of forest, state mangrove cell.
Sandhya Doshi the area corporator visited the site and gave several assurances to restore the natural ambience and she also pushed forward for a banner to prevent people from littering the area.