Over a week after the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) issued notices to Mantralaya (state secretariat) and slapped a fine of Rs 10,000 for neither segregating waste nor treating it, the state public works department has written to the civic body seeking more time to treat wet waste and requested to revoke the fine levied. The civic body had issued notice to Mantralaya, along with 141 other bulk waste generators in south Mumbai, for failing to treat wet waste and failing to respond to repeated reminders by the BMC.
The other defaulters include several government establishments, hotels, exhibition organisers, malls, etc. “They were neither following the segregation rules nor responding to our reminders. Therefore, we issued notices to them and levied a fine of Rs 10,000 on each one of them,” said a senior official of A-ward (Fort, Colaba, Churchgate). “The notices were issued recently after our inspection teams found that these establishments were not following the rules of waste segregation. We applied a common yardstick and issued notices to each of these establishments, including the Mantralaya and some societies where judges and IAS officers live,” said Assistant Municipal Commissioner, A-ward, Kiran Dighawkar.
The responsibility of managing daily affairs of the government buildings, including Mantralaya, lies with the PWD, which has been asked to pay the penalty and follow the rules. However, the department has now sought more time to set up a composting unit and treat wet waste. “After the notices were served, a few people came forward saying they would follow the rules, while a few others sought extension of deadline for segregation of waste,” said the official.
The PWD letter dated November 30 states: “We are already following the rules and doing waste segregation. A private contractor has been appointed to segregate and transport dry waste. However, wet waste is still being disposed by the BMC. We have already informed the concerned departments include the General Administration Department (GAD) Mantralaya Canteen and to start treating wet waste within the Mantralaya premises, we will need more time. Hence we request the civic body to revoke the fine amount levied.”