Adopting an unique method to raise awareness against disposal of solid waste in creeks and drains, the BMC is set to initiate a campaign by screening a short film, which will give information about the various problems caused by waste disposal in drains and creeks.
Civic officials said that the primary objective is to raise awareness among the low income groups, who mainly dispose waste into open drains and do not use bins.
“Creeks and storm water drain network plays a key role in discharging effluent matter generated in industrial and slum pockets into the sea. However, due to waste disposal, the drains get clogged and water can hardly move into the streams. This eventually chokes the outfalls and leads to flooding and waterlogging during monsoon,” said an official from BMC’s solid waste management department.
Officials said the short film — 60-180 seconds long — will show real images and animation, depicting the consequences of drainage clogging and how it will benefit people once it is stopped. The film will also encourage residents to segregate and dispose garbage in bins to be treated and recycled.
The BMC has floated a tender to appoint a filmmaker who will shoot the film, which the civic body plans to release by December first week. “After the film is ready, we will broadcast it through the BMC website and other social media platforms like YouTube, Facebook and Twitter. We are also planning to display this film on digital advertising boards at various public spaces,” said Mahendra Ubale, assistant municipal commissioner, who is heading this project.
Ubale added that the primary target audience are the people living in Govandi, Deonar, Mankhurd, Cheeta Camp and Shivaji Nagar, which are mainly slum areas.
Ubale said that all storm water drain channels and creeks in these areas are filled with solid waste and floating material to such an extent that one cannot see the surface. “Our main motive is to change the mindset of the people. Many residents don’t use bins and prefer to throw garbage in drains just because their house is closer to the creek. They don’t know realise that whenever a creek overflows during monsoon, water first enters their houses.”
Meanwhile, local residents said that alongside raising awareness, the BMC should also work towards addressing the issue of open waste dumping in Deonar.
“People in Govandi and Shivaji Nagar have been living with garbage and solid waste since 1927, when the Deonar dumping ground was set up… Open dump site of solid waste is a common sight. The local authorities don’t pay attention since the people living here belong to the low income groups and lack awareness about basic hygiene,” said Faiyaz Alam, president of Govandi New Sangam Welfare Society.
“Therefore, ground level awareness is necessary to bring change in the mentality of people. At the same time, BMC should work towards solving the issue of open waste dumping in these places.”