The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has deregistered 310 ALM (Advanced Locality Management) bodies in Mumbai. This has disheartened several ALMs, who have been voluntarily helping the BMC in tackling civic issues. According to the BMC only 119 ALMs have been working satisfactorily. ALM members have disagreed with this statement, commenting that, “other than segregation, there is no other form of waste management that the ALMs are mandated to do. It is the corporation’s responsibility. Yet, many ALMs were segregating and also composting the waste. The BMC’s move to deregister the ALMs, will only discourage them.”
As it stands, many ALMs have delisted on their own or stopped being active, allegedly, due to lack of support from the BMC. “The major reason behind ALMs’ declining interest, is their disenchantment with civic officials, who pay only lip service to the issues, with little improvement on the ground. They have largely failed, even in picking up the segregated waste,” laments Bharati Kakkad, former secretary of Union Park Residents Association (UPRA). While, Asha Panemanglor, a Powai resident stated that, “while we segregated the garbage, the BMC workers used to mix it, as they had no facility to collect it separately. Many of our other civic issues also remained unattended, despite our relentless follow-up. Frustrated, I left the ALM,” Patil, on the other hand, denies the charges stating that “our wards have been deputing separate vehicles, for collecting the segregated waste. Further, Stree Mukti Sanghatana also helps in collecting dry waste. If there are any problems, the ALMs should interact with the concerned ward.”
Viren Merchant, who started the first ALM in Joshi Lane, Ghatkopar, points out that “ALMs run on voluntary contribution and many do not contribute. Hence, I suggested that the BMC collect an additional tax from the residents, then double it with their own contribution, as an incentive and return it to the ALMs.” Patil, however, clarified that no funding or other forms of incentives, are on the cards and the BMC can only provide technical support.