Marine Drive in Mumbai, also known as the Queen's Necklace, may have been recently accorded the heritage status but the trash being thrown out by the sea each day has become a stinking problem. This has brought back the focus on how India's financial capital deals with its garbage problem.
For three days now, every time the waves hit the shore during high tide, tonnes of garbage, which the Mumbaikars have dumped into the sea, can be seen strewn along the shore compelling the sanitation workers to spend hours cleaning the trash.
The Maximum city's most iconic location is faced with iconic embarrassment which simply highlights how much trash is getting dumped into the sea, causing marine pollution at alarming levels.
The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation or the BMC is removing over 12 tonnes of garbage every four hours each day. But that's just the tip of the problem.
Zakir, a conservancy worker told NDTV, "Most of the garbage dumped along the shore constitutes of plastic and bottles. Whatever we throw in the sea it all comes back here and is dumped by the sea. Sometimes we find syringes, broken bottles, medicine strips and sometimes even dead rats and cats."
Mumbai produces 8,600 metric tonnes of waste every day, according to rough estimates. The city hasn't been able to deal with its trash as mountains of garbage build up at the dumping sites, often turning into a health hazard emitting toxic fumes when there are fires.
But city planners say there are solutions available and cities in the Europe are learning to manage their trash well. A global coalition, The Xynteo Exchange, is offering solutions to India to transform the waste even before it reaches the landfills, following the precedent set by European cities.
Thierry Pilenko, Executive Chairman of the TechnipFMC Board of Directors told NDTV, "We believe that today there is a huge area of development in terms of bringing to India the technology and knowhow, the scalability and industrial means to actually take advantage of bio fuels from renewable sources as well as using waste to create energy. And we have been launching projects within the context of India 2022 exchange to fulfil those requirements."
On Saturday, Mumbai's Art Deco buildings, believed to be the world's second largest collection after Miami, were added to UNESCO's World Heritage List, alongside the city's better-known Victorian Gothic architecture. Several Art Deco buildings in bright yellow, pink and blue dot the three-kilometre-long palm-fringed Marine Drive promenade. However, unless the city dwellers dump their garbage responsibly, even heritage precincts like Marine Drive won't be spared of the stench.
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