On 5 June 2019, thanks to the Mega Cleaning and Plantation Drive at the 120-year-old Powai Lake by Abhyuday, IIT Bombay (http://www.abhyudayiitb.org/ and Nisarg Swasthya Sansthan (http://nisargswasthya.org/ Powai, I could experience something which triggered a series of questions in my mind on the World Environment Day.
After all the volunteers were divided into multiple teams by 7 a.m., we began our work with an oath to keep our surrounding clean, followed by the National Anthem.
Here's the treasure that our teams uncovered from the shore: hundreds (yes, not an exaggeration!) of booze and cold drink glass bottles, food wrappers, plastic bottles, knives, birthday cracker candles, tags, confetti and spoons, cigarette packets, supari and other intoxicant sachets, heaps of clothes, plastic sacks, contraceptives, dozens of frames of gods and goddess, religious idols and casts. Most of it seems to have been dumped since months, as roots of trees had almost covered it. Beyond all the cry about water hyacinth infestation in the lake, who would have imagined this plight of the water body which is a home to several wetland birds and crocodiles? Apart from the other waste, a striking feature was the quantity of liquor bottles and cigarette packets, standing out there as trophies!
Although the Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai (MCGM) is planning "to appoint a contractor to clean the Powai lake of vegetation, floating material and garbage at a cost of around Rs 11 crore for three years", can it take action and stop people permanently from smoking and drinking at the promenade? This can also possibly prevent other evils like eve-teasing and ill-treatment of women.
One this stops, I believe the bottle trash will reduce significantly. Sign and share the petition with your friends and family and make this a success! We deserve a cleaner Mumbai!