Having lived in India for six decades I had a liking for beaches from my younger days and enjoyed the beauty of Marina Beach in Chennai and had fond memories. Whenever I visited Mumbai, I made a habit of visiting Juhu beach and spent 4 to 5 hours there. Being a resident of the Satellite city, recently I had visited the Alibaug beach as well. The general experience of beaches in India is very bad as the water is most polluted and as a nature lover you cannot walk on the shores to really experience the flow of waves and the breeze movement there. Chimbai beach located in Bandra is not an exception to this as we find filth on the shores that causes environmental danger and health hazard for people visiting this place. It is the most polluted beach in city followed by the beaches in Versova, Prabhadevi and Marve.
We come across such spots are being badly maintained and therefore we avoid visiting the place for the second time. A number of storm water drains originate in the slums. Often waste is directly thrown into these drains and discharged into the sea without treatment. Plastic debris such as food packaging and plastic bottles are being washed into the oceans each year which causes sea pollution. And, since plastic doesn’t biodegrade but just breaks down into smaller and smaller pieces, tiny plastic “microparticles” are entering our food chain. What we are throwing into the ocean could potentially end up in our stomach.
Alibaug beach in the vicinity is also proving to be a dirtiest beach and how the people sit and enjoy the contaminated water going all through their body including their undergarments. Increasing pollution in the coastal areas, especially the beaches are a matter of grave concern. We also need to take urgent steps to protect the biodiversity of these areas.
Cleanliness is next to Godliness and it is time to clean up beaches in and around the city as summer has already arrived and people find solace in sitting on the shores during best part of evening till late night. Desliting the water on the shores can be done in a large scale on a routine basis to give the water a clean look. For achieving this objective, people should ensure that rubbish is not thrown into sea water as it will get polluted. Mumbaikars must start using re-usable bags and bottles, avoid unnecessary plastic straws, use an ashtray on the beach and shout not drop cigarette butts. People should not be allowed to cross the danger mark and life guards should guard the coast to avoid mishaps. Clean beaches within the reach of Mumbai is the need of the hour, so that people can spend their valuable time there enjoying the scenic beauty without hindrance of bad smell emanating and filth washing ashore every time the waves swept them on the shores.
(The views expressed by the author in the article are his/her own.)