Ten days after he called off his campaign, Afroz Shah, the face of the Versova beach clean-up initiative, has announced that the drive will resume this weekend as the government has addressed all his concerns. “All the garbage has been lifted and 120 trucks came to clear them. Another 5-10 percent remains but that will be removed in two days. About the goons, the police have begun combing operations and they will look into it,” said Shah.versova beach, mumbai beach cleanup,, afroz shah, beach clean up drive, mumbai news, indian express
On November 19, Shah had suspended the initiative that had completed 109 weeks, during which 9 million kg of plastic waste was collected from the beach. He had alleged that goons were abusing and heckling the volunteers, and that there was lack of support from the Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai (MCGM) in clearing the litter collected. MCGM had then committed that all the garbage will be cleared in three days.
“One of my concerns was administrative lethargy, and lack of a robust mechanism. However, now they have committed to send trucks and other equipment every week,” Shah added.
In the 111th week, Shah and his team will be back on the beach on Saturday afternoon to clean the litter and will also conduct an awareness campaign in the nearby MHADA slums.
“The problem is not just cleaning the beach, it is also about marine litter. We have been working with the slums at Sagar Kutir to make them aware. We will be continuing it,” he said.
The movement, which began as a personal initiative of Shah, a 36-year-old lawyer, in October 2015 went on to gain international recognition after the United Nations Environment Programme awarded him the Champions of the Earth Award in 2016. His effort was acknowledged by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his radio programme Mann ki Baat in May this year