Mumbai, Nov 22 (IANS): In an early bird initiative, Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde, with the officialdom in tow, went for a pre-dawn inspection of the Mumbai pollution status and the clean-up operations taken up in the city and suburbs, here on Tuesday.
Accompanied by BrihanMumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) Commissioner I.S. Chahal and other senior officials, Shinde toured some parts of the posh Pedder Road, Bandra east-west and Santacruz areas, and directed that the pollution-control measures should be augmented further with modern equipment.
Encountering curious morning walkers or joggers in several areas of Kalanagar, Turner Road, Joggers Park and Milan Subway areas, Shinde observed the conservancy staffers cleaning up the city and many of the important roads being washed to settle and curb the dust pollutants.
"The government has taken several measures to control pollution, using water foggers, jet machines, suction machines, smog guns, etc., at 40 locations to reduce the dust on the roads and dust particles in the air in Mumbai. One thousand tankers are being hired to wash all the city roads," Shinde said later.
He reiterated that if needed, the government will go in for cloud-seeding to create artificial rains to curb air pollution levels, for which an agreement will be signed with a Dubai-based company.
Admitting that many infrastructure projects of the government and private construction works are going on in Mumbai, Shinde said orders have been given to ensure that there is no pollution at such work sites.
The CM assured the people that the green cover of Mumbai will be augmented by increasing the area of urban forests to curb pollution and heat effects, besides maintaining cleanliness in even small lanes, sewers and the coastal regions.
At the crowded Joggers Park in Bandra west, surprised locals rushed to interact with the VVIP visitor who patiently listened to their civic grievances and in turn gently urged them to join the government's cleanliness campaigns all over.
The people, including several senior citizens, vociferously raised problems of water shortages, low water pressures plaguing some areas, the bane of traffic congestion and other local issues which he readily promised to address, with the BMC chief seen nodding.
The CM also had 'chai pe charcha' with a group of excited civic conservancy and sanitation workers out on their regular morning rounds, and generously appreciated their role and efforts in keeping Mumbai clean.
In the past few weeks, Mumbai, the Mumbai Metropolitan Region plus major cities like Pune, Chhatrapati Sambhajinagar, Nagpur among others have been hit by high air pollution levels that has virtually made life miserable for the people.
The BMC and the other concerned authorities have been making desperate attempts to curb the air pollution levels - which notched a 'Poor' even today (November 21).