<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Assuring full support from the state government, Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis on Thursday asked Versova-based lawyer Afroz Shah to not only go ahead with the Versova beach clean-up activity, starting this weekend, but also promised that he would join the clean-up next week.Shah and a few other volunteers who have been cleaning the Versova beach for 109 weeks met Fadnavis on Thursday. On November 19 Shah took to social media announcing the suspension of Versova beach clean-up drive citing ‘volunteers being abused’ ‘administrative lethargy’ and blaming the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) for not clearing the garbage picked up during the clean-up.During the meeting, the CM spoke to police officials and even pulled up the BMC officials, questioning the delay in picking up of garbage. He sought an assurance from them that the volunteers do not face any kind of issue during the beach-cleaning drive. He even lauded the efforts of the Versova Residents Volunteers (VRV) and said that the state will back the VRV since this work was worth congratulating.Speaking about the meeting, Shah said that he was touched by the concern shown by the Chief Minister. “We discussed in detail about the Versova clean up and the mechanism that needs to be put in place and apart from that there was also discussion on the need for a proper tender system for beach cleaning across Mumbai as well as a policy on marine litter,” informed Shah adding that the partnership between citizens and the government, be it local body or state Government is crucial.During the meeting, Shah who is a recipient of United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) ‘Champion of the Earth’ Award for initiating the world’s largest community beach clean-up initiative also offered the CM his help in drafting a proper policy on marine litter for Maharashtra, given the huge coastline and constant impact of marine litter.WHAT’S IT?Afroz Shah along with Versova residents started the beach clean-up drive in 2015.
So far they have cleared seven million kilogram of garbage from the beach including piles of plastic waste.
On November 19, Shah took to social media announcing the suspension of the drive