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#GoodNews: Versova Beach Clean-Up to Resume This Weekend

Afroz Shah had suspended the drive due to lack of support from the Municipal Corporation & heckling of volunteers.

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India
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Afroz Shah had suspended the drive due to lack of support from the Municipal Corporation & heckling of volunteers.

Afroz Shah, the face of the Versova beach-cleanup, has announced that the initiative will be resumed this weekend.

The announcement comes ten days after Shah had suspended the clean-up – one of the largest citizen-driven environment programmes in the world – due to lack of support from the Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai (MCGM) and heckling of volunteers by local goons.

Afroz Shah had suspended the drive due to lack of support from the Municipal Corporation & heckling of volunteers.
Then vs Now: The transformation of Versova Beach. (Picture courtesy: Twitter/ @AfrozShah1)
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The 33-year old lawyer, who started the project in 2015, told The Indian Express that the government had addressed all his concerns regarding the waste removal initiative and that they had employed a team of policemen to regularly patrol Versova beach.

He told DNA:

We are satisfied with the robust arrangements made. BMC K-West ward officials have already cleared 120 truckloads of garbage from the Versova jetty area that they had not picked up since June, and now hardly five percent of garbage remains.

Shah said that the group had been assured that a BMC official would be present during cleanup – to ensure security of the volunteers.

The beach-cleaning process, which will resume between 3pm and 5pm on Saturday and Sunday, aims to remove the final five percent of waste that remains. He told The Indian Express:

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.

Shah Approaches Authorities

After he suspended the project, Shah met with both Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis and Yuva Sena chief Aaditya Thackeray, reports DNA. “Both of them had promised to join us at the clean-up and I have informed them that the work will be done on Saturday and Sunday between 3pm and 5pm, and that we would be more than delighted they join us,” Shah told the daily.

Shah’s beach clean-up drive initiative won him international attention, after United Nations Environment Programme awarded him the ‘Champions of the Earth Award in 2016’. His effort was also acknowledged by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his radio programme ‘Mann ki Baat’ in May this year

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