Mumbai diary: Garbage-powered street lights, railway station safety and more

Drinking water fountains is one of the forgotten treasures of Mumbai. Many rich individuals and socio-religious associations have been donating generously to build the fountains over the years.

Published: 05th May 2018 04:12 AM  |   Last Updated: 05th May 2018 04:13 AM   |  A+A-

By Express News Service

Revival of drinking water fountains

Drinking water fountains is one of the forgotten treasures of Mumbai. Many rich individuals and socio-religious associations have been donating generously to build the fountains over the years. However, most of these fountains are not working.

Though a group of like-minded people had started a social initiative to restore and conserve over 50 of such ‘Pyaus’ across the city a couple of years ago, the BMC has woken up to the cause now. At least three drinking water fountains are expected to be restored under a recent project undertaken by the civic body.

Garbage to power street lights

Mumbai generates over 7,700 ton of garbage every day. Hardly a fraction of it is segregated at source even though the BMC has set target of doing so and generating power out of biodegradable waste. Though achieving the BMC’s ambitious target seems a distant dream at the moment, residents of Pali Hill in the western suburb of Bandra have shown a light. As many as 68 street lights in this area will be soon lit with the biogas generating out of about a ton of locally collected waste. Even though the resident’s association has Bollywood luminaries and highly influential personalities on board, it took them more than two years to see the project through.

Blame game even before waterlogging

Water logging and politics is a usual feature of Mumbai during monsoon. However, unlike every year, the blame game has started even before the monsoon this time. In a pre-monsoon survey, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) identified 225 spots prone to water logging. While 60 are usual low-lying places, at least 17 are those where the work for Metro lines is going on. Until last year, the BJP and other parties used to target the Shiv Sena, which controls the BMC for over 20 years, for corruption in cleaning of storm water drains. But, the survey gave the  Sena an upper hand this year and it is now targeting the BJP for unmindful development projects.

Safety at railway stations

Even as a BMC survey about a fortnight ago reported rise in mental disorders amongst Mumbaikars, a bizarre incident last week brought to fore the ugly face of rising stress. After an altercation on the railway platform, a woman and an onlooker man pushed an elderly steel merchant in front of an oncoming train. CCTV footage at the Mulund station that went viral on social showed the people watching the altercation calmly. The incident coincided with the announcement by the railway administration to set up additional CCTV cameras for safety of commuters. However, questions are being raised whether the cameras are of any help especially when the people put little value on human life.

Abhijit Mulye

Our correspondent in Maharashtra

abhijit.mulye@gmail.com

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