A day after the beach clean-up drive at Versova resumed, Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis and Yuva Sena president Aditya Thackeray joined the proceedings on Sunday along with lawyer Afroz Shah, who spearheaded the initiative, which is now in its 111th week. The CM also announced that the government would prepare a policy for marine and coastal cleanliness and conservation.
Fadnavis said that the work undertaken by Shah is huge, and that the state government fully supported him in his initiative. “Shah is working on a policy for marine and coastal cleanliness and conservation. He will submit a draft policy to the state government soon. The government will finalise it after conducting further research on it,” he said.
Fadnavis also said that approximately 2,100 million litres a day (MLD) of sewage from the city was being released into the sea without treatment. “To prevent this, the Union government has finalised certain criteria after our follow up. So, all the sewage will be released after treating it. We are working on it. Plastic is also causing a lot of pollution in the sea and in the coastal areas. The restrictions on plastic will be brought in the next six months and citizens would be consulted on this,” he added.
Shah had suspended his beach clean-up campaign after collecting 9 million kg of plastic from the Versova beach by the 109th week, alleging that goons were abusing and heckling the volunteers and that the BMC was not clearing the garbage collected by them. Shah and his team resumed the campaign on Saturday.
The chief minister congratulated Shah and his team for relentlessly contributing towards the Swachh Bharat Mission. “After my appeal, Shah and his team have resumed the work. I have come here to encourage them. The state government will fully encourage and protect each citizens who is doing good work,” added Fadnavis, who also interacted with school children.