Proposed fiat: clean up poop or take dogs off Marine Drive

Dog poop is spoiling the Marine Drive,says the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation,proposing to ban pets on the 4-km stretch.

Written by Express News Service | Mumbai | Published: July 4, 2009 12:08 am

Dog poop is spoiling the Marine Drive,says the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC),proposing to ban pets on the 4-km stretch.

It will give a month’s warning to the owners and if dogs continue to litter the newly renovated promenade,officials said extreme measures will have to be taken. “The minute we see owners bringing pets we will tell them to take the animals away,” said additional municipal commissioner (city) R A Rajeev.

The Marine Drive was recently beautified by the MMRDA at Rs 26 crore,with larger promenades on both sides.

The BMC’s cleanliness and sanitation bylaws of 2006 make a pet owner responsible for clearing poop on Mumbai’s pavements. A fine of Rs 500 can be levied if it is not cleared. Assistant municipal commissioner,A ward,A Dhamne said that everyday at least two violators are fined by the clean-up marshals for not clearing their dog’s poop.

“We have been communicating with joggers and residents’ association for two years but there has been no response. The poop is a nuisance to joggers,walkers and people who come at Marine Drive and therefore we intend to ban the pets on the promenade,” he said.

The BMC will limit its anti-poop drive to the Queen’s Necklace. “Residents of Marine Drive have reached a certain level of cleanliness and higher targets should be eyed. Other parts of the city are still to be as clean as this area,” Rajeev said. “Marine Drive is a postcard for the city. A number of tourists visit here and this place should be kept litter-free.”

The issue came into the spotlight some two years ago when columnist Tavleen Singh refused to remove the poop of her dog. It could ruffle feathers of dog lovers once again.

Singh said that the BMC should first think of providing citizens with cleaner streets and then propose banning pets and making owners responsible for their pets’ poop. “Why should the rule be limited only to Marine Drive. Shouldn’t the rest of the city also be kept clean instead of concentrating only on making a certain place a showpiece? And anyway poop is bio-degradable and the BMC wants us to clean it up with plastic,which is not.”

Churchgate resident Tunali Mukherjee,who regularly walks her German Shepherd-Labrador cross-breed,said,“There are no dustbins on the promenade. Even if I pick up the poop where do I throw it?” she asked. “I am a strong supporter of cleanliness but by implementing this rule,the BMC is missing out on the larger picture.”

Cities like Paris,New York and London have come up with “poop-scoop and bagger”,a pickup device that has a scoop for picking up waste and has a plastic bag lining it which can be used to remove the waste.

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