Cyclone Ockhi clears Mumbai air but dumps 80,000 kg of trash on beaches

Don’t plan to visit any of the city’s beaches this weekend. While Cyclone Ockhi may have cleaned up the city’s air, it has also washed ashore large mounds of trash in Mumbai.

The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation’s (BMC) solid waste management (SWM) department estimates that over 80,000 kg or 80 tonnes of waste from the ocean has been dumped on the city’s coastline between Tuesday night and Wednesday morning.

“The waste that was floating in the middle of the ocean has got dumped on our beaches because of intense wave action. We have informed all the ward offices to clear the garbage,” said a senior SWM official, requesting anonymity. “A total of 26 truckloads have been collected from different beaches so far. The process will continue for the next three to four days.”

 Versova and Juhu beaches are the worst affected, but trash has also been spotted at Dadar Chowpatty, Marine Drive, Nariman Point, Madh Island and Marwe.

Prashant Deshmukh, assistant municipal commissioner and ward officer of K-West ward said that around 25,000kg of waste had piled up at Versova (15,000kg) and Juhu (10,000kg) beaches. “The amount of trash is similar to what we get during the monsoon months. We cleared five truckloads on Wednesday,” he said.

City-based lawyer and beach clean-up crusader Afroz Shah said that at Versova beach, near Dewachiwadi, the trash collected was almost two feet high. “It was extremely difficult to walk on the beach on Wednesday morning because everything, from plastic bags, food wrappers, clothes to ropes and footwear, was lying on the beach,” Shah said, adding that the Versova Resident Volunteers have a mighty task ahead of them this weekend.

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