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Management of Sanitation

Solid Wastes

Bombay generates 5,500 metric tons of organic and inorganic waste daily. Only about 5,000 tons are collected daily by the BMC, which spends approximately Rs. 135 crores a year for garbage collection and disposal. There are 6.300 garbage collection points in the city and its suburbs. Citizens do not pay a special tax for garbage clearance. BMC employees and contractors lift the garbage and deposit it in the four dumping grounds at Deonar, Malad, Gorai and Mulund. The Deonar grounds take about 70% of the total. The capacity of these landfills will expire around the year 2010.

BMC employs about 20,000 workers for solid waste management. Each worker is paid Rs. 3,200 per month, around Rs. 3,000 travel allowance, and up to Rs. 1.25 lakhs in housing loans with minimal interest. In 1988 a report on the health of BMC workers pointed out that 67% of the workers complained of choking, breathlessness and sever burning sensations in the eyes each time they went down a manhole; that spines collapsed from the cramped working conditions; that skin disease and gastrointestinal tract infections were so commonplace as to be beyond comment.


Sewerage for the city is managed by the Water Supply and Sewerage Division of the BMC. Only about 80% of the city's area has sewerage. There is a pumping station with a marine outfall at Love Grove in Worli. A similiar pumping station at Bandra is planned, as are aeration lagoons for treatment of sewage at Malad, Versova, Ghatkopar and Bhandup. Information on a World Bank loan for a water supply and sewage disposal project can be accessed. This program has also received Japanese aid.

The Ghatkopar and Bhandup stations, with their Waste Water Treatment Facilities are expected to start functioning by 1998. The plan for a lagoon at Malad has been cancelled because the Malad creek is unable to carry sewerage. The National Environmental Engineering Institute (NEERI) will check the quality of coastal water at the outflow from the Versova lagoon.

An Indian firm, AIC Watson, is performing the topographical survey for an assessment of the water level and conditions of manholes in the city. A German form, GKW, is preparing a detailed report on the structural condition of the city's sewerage pipeline. A Canadian firm, R. V. Anderson and Co, is conducting a survey of the operation and maintenance of the entire sewerage disposal system, including the human component such as information systems, staff etc.

Public Toilets

It has been estimated that Bombay requires about 50,000 public toilets. Only about 200 are in operation. 231 work orders have been issued for new public toilets, and construction of 61 has started [11/95]. Of these 27 will be built between Sahar International Airport and Bandra highway, 25 in Dharavi, and 5 at Gilbert Hill in Andheri. It is estimated that the cost of constructing each toilet will be between Rs. 5 and 12 lakhs.

The BMC has identified six slums with a population of one lakh each, not targeted for redevelopment, for its public toilet scheme. Non-governmental organisations will consult the slum-dwellers on their needs for such facilities and will interface with the BMC.


The BMC runs 5 electric crematoria, one each in Shivaji Park, Sion, Chandanwadi, Oshiwara and Chembur. The Corporation charges a subsidised rate of Rs. 175 per adult body and Rs. 60 per child. The actual cost is about Rs. 400. In contrast, firewood costs Rs. 800. Unclaimed bodies are cremated at the Dr. E. Moses road crematorium.

Garbage Control Room

In June 1996, the BMC set up a garbage control room to take complaints from the public about uncollected garbage. The response time is supposed to be less than three days.

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