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  Home >> Cleanliness >>  Draft Minutes of Oct 28 BMC - NGO meeting on Cleanliness


Draft Minutes of Oct 28 BMC - NGO meeting on Cleanliness

The discussions on Fri, Oct 28, 2005, are written below briefly and quickly. (Detailed minutes will be prepared over the next few days and those are to be considered the final decisions.) Please note that wherever it is written "agreed" or "approved", it means that MCGM is prinicipally ok with the concept. We all would have to still prepare a detailed note for actual approval.


The purpose of sending this email is because we all need to respond quickly on certain items mentioned below. We were allowed to sit in on the weekly SWM meeting that 30-35 BMC officials present to Mr. Ratho, AMC, and could see that many new initiatives, rules, guidelines, contract terms, tender terms, are underway. At our request, deadlines for these have been extended from Oct 31 to Nov 7 - 15 to enable NGOs to give their suggestions. The SWM report-and-review meeting was an eye-opener for all of us here and we were quite pleased to see BMC's serious efforts in doing the right things in a targeted way. Several of us suggested that the minutes of such meetings should be shared with NGOs and others as that would benefit BMC's image.


The two areas where we need to respond urgently if we wish to are:

    a) BMC's new Debris Policy: Online

    b) BMC's new tenders for garbage collection. We will get soon.


The order below is the order of the Agenda of the meeting. The detailed clauses are in . The Clause numbers are indicated.  If you sent comments in the past regarding any of the clauses and we have forgotten to include them, please send them again to forward to the concerned person who will handle each area. Their names are indicated below. If you are interested in handling any area, please indicate. Many people would like to have co-sharers of responsibility. Wherever I have writtten "NGOs to do", it is basically open for anyone to respond.  It also does not mean that the onus is on the NGO sector. It is optional if NGOs want to do that. If an NGO needs funds to do so, it can ask for it.


As you will realise from the notes below, this is now a new way of working on civic issues. For us at Karmayog, it marks a conclusion to our various efforts, and a beginning of a new approach. I expect that this will be reflected in my various comments at the end of the yahoo group emails. :-)



1. MCGM & NGO Sector Co-ordination: Cl 23.

All points agreed. MCGM-NGO Cleanliness Co-ord Committee set up. All new policy changes of MCGM to be run through this committee without obligation on MCGM to abide by the decisions. (A historic first, I would think.) The idea is that NGO viewpoints be heard early enough in time so as to increase the chances of being incorporated in MCGM policies. It was agreed that dissents between MCGM and NGOs and also of differing NGOs would be minuted as this would be of value in future reviews, etc.


NGOs to do: Pl send a one-page email on any SWM aspect that you would like to work on - indicating scope of work, time frame, and cost. Point person: Vinay Somani.  MCGM will also pay for any papers, projects, plans, reports, consulting assignments, that NGOs would like to do, after due selection by this co-ord comm.


NGOs to do: Pl inform clearly which various SWM themes / areas / geographical areas you are interested in being involved. Point person: Vibha Singh, Karmayog.  Henceforth, we would like to send emails only to the concerned people rather than to all in the Yahoo group.



2. Citizen Monitoring and Feedback and Action: Cl 24 b.

a) "Cleanliness Task Force" concept approved. Budget of Rs. 10,000 per month to be placed for approval but CTFs can start right away if they are willing to operate without a budget:


NGOs to do: Pl inform if you are interested in running the CTF in your councillor ward. Point person: Vinay Somani. Personally, I would prefer if you are someone who can simply send an office person (even a peon) daily around your area to list all the locations where there is uncleared garbage. This way, it can get done mechanically and regularly without emotions getting involved. This makes it easier to start off. Daily reports will be displayed on Karmayog, will be submitted to BMC at various levels (in daily, weekly, fortnightly, monthly formats as required).  This is basically your chance to ensure that your area is kept clean. If you choose not to get involved, I would expect you to stop complaining via this yahoo group forum about cleanliness problems in your area.


At this stage, what is needed is one person per CTF only. Thereafter other Citizen Group reps can be added to reach the total of 5 in each CTF. Please note that we would like to first run each CTF on our own without Councillor or BMC reps for a month. Once we are clear what needs to be done by that CTF, then we will approach the Councillor and BMC reps to join in.


b) "Nuisance Detector" concept: Currently only BMC employees are NDs. It could be possible that citizens could be sort of NDs to collect administrative charges (not fines) but that means that they have to ensure that the area is actually cleaned up. NGOs to do: We need to think in detail about the ND concept. Point person: Sudheendra Kulkarni. BMC is willing to send NDs with us on specific occasions, during campaigns, etc.


c) Home Guards: BMC willing to involve  on specific occasions, during campaigns, etc.


3. Continuing Education, Awareness-Raising and Training: Cl 22


All points agreed. NGOs to do: NGOs to submit their interest in training stakeholders. Point persons: Janet Geddes of CERE with Kiran Madan of Sanskar India. They also need to compile an overall budget for BMC to put in their budget approvals for next year. You may select any area of stakeholders that you wish to be involved with e.g. schools in certain areas, hawkers, etc. In fact, the more local the area you choose, the better as that gives more effective results. You may indicate what aspect of training you would like to provide e.g. how to vermi-compost, environmental education, media campaigns, etc. (I think this formal involvement where NGOs will be involved with continuous training is also a first of its kind. NGOs should take advantage of this to be able to get a sustained activity and source of income for themselves.)


4. "Saaf Aangan" concept: Cl 20.


All points agreed. NGOs to do: We need a detailed note on how to implement and enforce. Point person:  Madhu Sawant of 'I Clean Mumbai'. Basic idea is that every shop and residence to keep its footpath and road gutter clean / ensure it is kept clean.


5. Non-MCGM areas: Cl 20.


Agreed that joint meetings be held with Railways, MMRDA, MIDC, MPT, etc. BMC to organise.


6. Demonstration Precincts for zero-garbage along with Rotary & corporate support: Cl 2 (8)


Agreed. NGOs to do: Offer to take up areas as small as they are comfortable with. BMC will offer full support including staff and vehicle support. Rotary has expressed interest in taking up well-defined projects. United Way of Mumbai has offered that various corporates are willing to take up even entire wards. The basic idea is here is that if various pockets of Mumbai can be cleaned up and kept-clean, it will show the citizens that it can be done and that BMC is serious about doing so. The learning experience for all (BMC, NGOs, citizens) would be invaluable in framing policy guidelines, tender documents, educational and awareness measures, etc. (I think that this too can be a trend-setter idea.)



We then discussed the actual policy decisions regarding how different types of wastes are to be handled. (I think this format was a very useful departure from normal discussions. i.e. we focused first on what BMC and Citizen Sector can do together, and then we discussed about what is to be done. This set a very collaborative mood.

The idea being that once we have agreed how to work together, then we can resolve points of differences in due course. Normally, all talk between BMC and NGOs and even amongst NGOs themselves breaks down over what each considers are their 'points of principles' itself. In my opinion, this approach of NGOs that 'first agree, then we will work together' is an approach that leads to a break-down in discussions. I myself found this attitude in so many people in the Cleanliness Group itself who preferred to opt out, not attend meetings, not respond to emails, not give their suggestions, if their view was not taken as the 'only correct' view by the rest of the group. We all really need to introspect on this. I can not resist adding that our joint brainstorming led to various innovative ideas and suggestions which BMC has also found agreeable and doable. ) 


7. Identifying locations for the various activities in the entire waste-treatment chain: Cl 6.


NGOs to do along with BMC Officials: To identify the following in their localities / wards as acceptable by the nearby public:

    - kiosks at near distances where building sweepers, etc., can bring dry waste.

    - common treatment areas for wet waste for households, specific markets, etc.,    

    - sorting areas for ragpickers

    - waste receving centres for all wastes   

    - sites for debris banks and to operate machines

(We would all have assumed that BMC can identify such areas on its own but it can not. NGOs should do that. On a fee basis. Which area are you willing to identify?)  


8. Overview of Waste Management: Cl 2 and the Flow Chart (also online):

BMC is making bye-laws of Municipal Solid Waste rules. They will give us a draft soon. NGOs to do: To respond to this draft when circulated. 


9. Wet Waste / Bio-degradables: Cl 7 & 8


Points principally agreed. Objective is that in due course all wet waste should be composted and in-situ or at nearby locations by waste generator or service provider or MCGM. We did not get into all the specific points because BMC said that we should respond upon seeing the new bye-laws that are getting framed. One point of difference is that while BMC will pick-up the entire compost but will not pay for compost that is more than it can itself use. This will be discussed further.


NGOs to do: To give detailed notes regarding how each different type of waste-generator should treat its waste e.g. restaurant groups, individual hotels, large complexes, food markets, hawker areas, temples, tabelas, slaughter houses. Point Persons: Vinda Wagh of MEDC for restaurants incl. bio-methanation, Rajul Berde of Orchid Hotel for hotels & hospitals, Jayasimha of PETA India for tabelas and slaughterhouses; Priya Ubale of Clean Sweep Forum for housing societies and big complexes like clubs, institutes; Jyoti Mhapsekar of Stree Mukti Sangathana for hawker areas; Sudheendra Kulkarni for slums; Harshad Gandhi of Excel Ind. for temples; Vinda Wagh of MEDC along with Harshad Gandhi of Excel Ind. for food and flower markets.


NGOs to do: To identify spots for bio-bins for common treatment areas.


NGOs to do: To list the various markets throughout the city. 


10. Dry Waste / Recyclables: Cl 9


Points principally agreed. i.e. Dry waste to be taken to kiosks by waste-generators from where ragpicker co-operatives will pick up.


Rag-pickers income will be through sale of the recyclables. No other payment. BMC will not offer floor support price. (BMC does not want to do so, ragpicker orgs also do not want it.)


NGOs to do: To make a detailed note on how this would operate. Also on all aspects regarding waste-pickers. Point Persons:  Jyoti Mhapsekar of Stree Mukti Sangathana, Punam Hudar or Force & Priya Ubale of Clean Sweep Forum.


NGOs to do: To suggest kiosk design. Point Persons: as above.


NGOs to do: To identify spots for kiosks and for sorting areas for ragpickers. Point Persons: as above.


NGOs to do: To suggest how to prevent re-fillable containers getting misused. Point Person:  Dr. Kavi Arya of Chetana Forum


NGOs to do: To suggest how to re-cycle / re-use the different materials. Point Person: Dr. Kavi Arya of Chetana Forum 


11. Non-segregated Waste: Cl 13


All points agreed. i.e. while segregating waste is to be mandatory, BMC will continue to lift unsegregated waste with daily fines so that everyone moves towards full compliance in due course. Waste will be taken to rag-picker sorting areas for composting and sorting. 


12. Construction & Demolition Waste: Cl 10


BMC has formulated a new policy. It is online at the Cleanliness Section of . The last date for suggestions / objections was Oct 31. They have agreed to hold up till Nov 10 - 15.


NGOs to do URGENTLY: To give suggestions / objections on the draft Debris Policy of BMC. Point Person: Bejoy Davis of YUVA.


NGOs to do: While all materials can be recycled, it is not clear what can be done in-situ by builders, or in small quantities at in-city locations, with what technology and at what costs to give what end-products. Point Person needed to explore and co-ordinate this. 


13. Medical Waste: Cl 11


Agreed: a) To give directions to hospital to make arrangements for receiving

             b) Routing plans to be made such that bio-med waste can be picked up from pathology labs, nursing homes, big clinics, etc.


NGOs to do: To suggest routing plan after verifying BMC's list of path labs, etc. Point Person: Deepika D'Souza of Mumbai Medwaste. 


14. Non-recyclable Waste & Landfills / Landhills: Cl 14


Points principally agreed. Incineration will not be done. Waste-to-electricity projects will not be undertaken. If RDF is to be made, it will be only without burning.


NGOs to do: To make list of non-recyclable waste. Point Persons: Ragini Jain of Geetanjali & T. K. Bandopadhay of ICPE (Indian Centre for Plastics & Environment)


NGOs to do: To suggest compulsory facilities at landfills / landhills. Point Person: Almitra Patel, Bangalore, of Supreme Court Committee on SWM Amendments. 


15. Hazardous Waste: Cl 15


NGOs to do: To make a list and to respond to BMC new bye-laws. Point Person: Dr. Kishore Wankhade of Toxic Links, Mumbai. 


16. Slaughterhouses: Cl 16


NGOs to do: To make a detailed paper. Point Person: Jayasimha of PETA India 


17. Beaches: Cl 17


Agreed: To ban throwing anything into the sea including pooja flowers. Specific rules for Ganesh Visarjan, etc. 


18. Lakes: Cl 18


To discuss later as we were running out of time then. Point Person: Sudheendra Kulkarni   


19. Slums: Cl 21


We put forward that integrated approach along with sanitation, toilets is needed. It was agreed that a meeting be called along with stakeholders, slum CSOs, and NGOs with grass-root experiences. Point Person: Sudheendra Kulkarni  


20. Communication via the Media


It was stressed that BMC should do so and to explore ways of using the upcoming Mumbai Festival in January also. 


21. Other points in the Policy Framework Recommendations: Cl 1, 3, 4, 5, 19, 25. 26. 27, 28, 29, 30


These were not taken up as these clauses are either of an informatory nature or not needed to be specifically discussed or not of value to be taken up now itself. 


22. MCGM's Mission Statement: Opening Clause


It was agreed that there should be one for a Clean Mumbai. It was agreed to develop one jointly. By the way, BMC is aiming at 50% reduction to landfills in 5 years while Kisanbhai is talking of 100% reduction now. We need a common doable mission.


NGOs to do: To give their inputs. Point Person: Sudheendra Kulkarni and Kisanbhai Mehta  


Some of the Point Persons that I have named above did not attend the meeting. Nor did we specifically discuss the names earlier. So I have taken the liberty of putting the names. If any of them want to not be the Point Persons, please let me know. If anyone else is interested, you are most welcome.


As you can see, we had an amazing meeting which was truly facilitated by Mr. Ratho by giving us a free hand to conduct it.


It was satisfying that in one month, we all could put together a detailed and comprehensive base document, discuss it completely in one meeting with BMC, and take decisions on almost all issue. A Great Beginning, I feel. 


Your comments would be valuable as always.


Thanks and Regards,



It is one of the beautiful compensations of this life that no one can sincerely try to help another without helping himself. --Charles Dudley Warner