Monday, April 15, 2013

Haji Ali seashore continues to raise a stink, plaints fall on deaf ears

Tuesday, Apr 16, 2013, 9:00 IST | Place: Mumbai | Agency: DNA
Locals say Dargah trustee has been preventing trucks from lifting garbage.
A garbage-covered stretch of the Haji Ali seashore on Monday.
Several Haji Ali residents no longer feel good about residing in posh buildings overlooking the sea. Even as piles of garbage on the shore has become an eyesore, the threat of spread of infectious disease has been haunting the residents for the past few months.

They have been making the rounds of the BMC's D ward office to no avail. Even repeated complaints to seniors and top civic officials have fallen on deaf ears.

An official from the Solid Waste Management (SWM) said the contract for lifting garbage from the shore expired last November and the file for issuing new contracts is still lying in the SWM office. No new tender has been issued either. Also, Haji Ali being 'no man's land', with half of it in G-south and the other half falling under D ward, has led to officials passing the buck.

"For the past few months, the amount of garbage has been continuously increasing and there are no signs of it being cleared. Children and senior citizens are at risk of falling ill. Children play in the building garden, its wall has the filthy shore on the other side," said a resident of the area.

He added, "Garbage invites a lot of strays, rodents, flies, roaches and mosquitoes. It's like having diseases spread on a platter."

Another resident said that this issue has a history as the managing trustee of the Dargah committee, AS Merchant, has had a conflict with the residents over car parking. Now, the trustee, in vengeance, does not allow garbage trucks from D ward to lift garbage from the left side of the shore near Shiv-Tirth and Rewa buildings, while the garbage trucks from G-south, which lift the garbage in front of the shrine, are allowed, the resident alleged.

However, Merchant said it's the buildings' residents who throw garbage on the shore.

When asked if he stopped D ward trucks, Merchant refused to clarify.   

The resident added, "This happens even though the road belongs to the collector and is not a property of the Dargah trust."

Osama Motiwala, who resides in Rewa building, said there is no access for the trucks, excavator machines and dumpers from the road leading to the shore. "We have taken up the issue with the Haji Ali Dargah committee and they have promised us to discuss the issue with the managing committee and come up with a solution," Motiwala said.

Motiwala said that a D ward official has asked residents to forgo clean roads for a few days if they want clean shore. "Also, handling garbage with a hand cart would be difficult for civic officials. They are yet to come up with a solution," he added.