Clean-up marshals issue one million warnings in a year
By Team Legistify / 2017-07-18

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Some international cities charge a fine of $1,000 for littering. Mumbai charges as little as Rs 200 for the same offence. Yet, it has managed to collect more than Rs 8.2 crore in penalties from pedestrians and motorists within a year of enlisting ‘clean-up marshals’ to rid the metropolis’s streets of cigarette butts, spit, rubbish and plastic bags.

This month, the BMC marks the first anniversary of the ambitious initiative to instil civic sense in its denizens. With over five lakh people fined so far, more than a million warnings issued and crores earned in penalties, is Mumbai any closer to the dream of a ‘clean city’?

No, say a number of activists, who find the roads and pavements as shabby as ever. While it may be a deterrent, does it spread awareness about the importance of keeping the city clean, is their question.

Yes, says officials, who point to the dustbins kept by most food vendors and the near-absence of trash on wellknown streets and near popular landmarks. Apart from the fines imposed, the marshals ‘warn’ almost one lakh people on an average every month (see table) to discourage them from throwing waste.

The ‘clean-up’ scheme was started on July 1 last year and currently has 720 personnel patrolling high-footfall areas such as entry and exit points of railway stations, bus stops, museums, shopping districts and tourist hubs like Marine Drive.

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