From Awful to Awesome: Versova Beach | For decades Versova Beach in Mumbai (Bombay) was just an ugly symbol of beach pollution at its worst. Disaster tourists from all over the world came here to witness new records of extreme: One million tons of rubbish. All they could see was waves of plastic containers, bottles, milk packs, cement bags, discarded items of clothing, cigarette butts, snakes of rope, straws, human feces, topped with an awful smell.
Western societies have routine workflows in place when it comes to clean decent beaches. It does not mean that there is no litter found at the coastlines of Mallorca or the Baltic Sea. Tides bring in rubbish even to the remotest areas far from any direct human contact. But if there is no regular cleaning service in place, the continuous growth in the amount of solid waste thrown away combined with a very slow rate of degradation of most items, are leading to a gradual increase in marine litter at any beach anywhere on earth.
Mumbai does not have such regular cleaning service. Instead the employees of the city fight with civic apathy, and loose. Mumbai’s civic body could easily replicate garbage collection models implemented in countries like Japan or Germany, but it doesn’t.
The biggest cleanup in history
In October 2015 United Nations patron Lewis Pugh and lawyer Afroz Shah did kickstart the biggest beach cleanup in history. Almost one year later, the fruits of their efforts can be seen. A stunning transformation of Versova Beach is taking place. Since the group started, they have cleared up approx. 1,800 tonnes of waste. Every day has been impactful.
It’s quite amazing that a few people can make such a big difference. Every day volunteers start to trickle in from 10am, putting on gloves to collect rubbish. Older generations of local fishermen already compare todays Versova Beach with the one they used to know 30 years ago. At some point the work might be done here. But there are 18 more heavily polluted Mumbai beaches drowning in trash …
Makeover of Versova Beach – Video
This update we recently found at Hindustan Times: Mumbai’s Versova beach clean-up suspended after 109 weeks, as BMC fails to clear collected waste, City-based lawyer Afroz Shah said, 50 truckloads of trash have not been removed since the start of the monsoon -> Hindustan Times
Versova Beach Mumbai. By Chili & Churp | © International Destinations | Visit our Travel Alphabet.