Following several instances of people throwing garbage in narrow lanes or “house gallis” in parts of south Mumbai, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has issued notices to 500 families for dumping waste in these spaces. According to officials, the C ward office has issued notices to the families staying in the densely populated areas of Kalbadevi and Bhuleshwar where cleaning of the house gallis continues to pose a challenge.
A senior official from the ward said: “In south Mumbai, C ward has a large number of house gallis because there are many old buildings, including some that are even a century old. People living in these buildings are often found throwing garbage in the house gallis. Clearing garbage from these places is a painstaking process, as the lanes are very narrow with water pipelines and sewer lines running along the walls of the buildings. Despite several awareness programmes for the residents of Bhuleshwar and Kalbadevi, they continue to throw garbage in the house gallis. We have issued notices to the families that are repeated offenders.” C ward has many two and four-storey structures in areas like Abdul Rahman Street, Maulana Shaukat Ali Road, Kumbharwada, C P Tank, Nanubhai Desai Road, B J Road and Anandilal Poddar Marg. Chawls in these localities are separated by narrow spaces called house gallis.
Speaking to The Indian Express, the Assistant Municipal Commissioner of C ward, Sunil Sardar, said: “There are 1,717 house gallis in C ward. They all are spaces not more than half-a-foot. These house gallis are filled with garbage and food waste. It is very difficult to carry out cleaning work in these passages. Taking note of this, we have conducted some awareness programmes for the people. But not much progress has been seen. In the past one month, we have issued notices to 500 families for throwing garbage in house gallis.”
He added: “The house gallis have water pipeline connections and by throwing garbage, there is a high possibility of water contamination as most of these pipes are old and corroded. Also, in some places, the house gallis have sewerage connections as well. So, in case of any damage to that, piled up garbage can create a lot of problems. Moreover, there is a possibility of mosquito breeding in these house gallis. Hence, keeping them clean is very important.”
Another official said that on October 2 last year, the BMC started a public awareness campaign, requesting people to keep the gallis clean. The offenders were also penalised with a Rs 1,000 fine.
The next step after issuing notices is to start prosecution in courts for not following the Solid Waste Management Rules, said an official.