Activists want to know why the introduction of a policy to tackle marine litter, which was promised by chief minister Devendra Fadnavis in December last year, has been delayed. Officials from the state government claim that the policy will be unveiled before June 5, World Environment Day.
“There has been no update on the formulation of a draft policy to address the problem of marine litter in our state,” says activist Irfan Machiwala.
Activists and residents of Mahim have formed a beach committee to clean Mahim Beach. Over the past year, they have organised regular beach cleaning drives along with the BMC. Members of the Committee have asked MLA Waris Pathan to enquire with the Chief Minister about the introduction of the policy.
“A marine litter policy needs to be formulated to tackle the problem of marine debris, one of the biggest threats to aquatic ecosystems. Researchers had found micro-plastics inside fish, which means that plastics have entered the marine food chain. Stringent rules and regulations are needed to control the accumulation of plastic debris in the sea. Fishermen in Mumbai net the largest amount of marine debris,” says Anwar Khan, chairman of the Advanced Local Management (ALM) of Durgah Street.
The Maharashtra government has set World Environment Day as the deadline for the formulation of a marine litter policy.
“Afroz Shah is helping us formulate the guidelines. The policy will be unveiled before June 5 this year,” says an official from the environment department.