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Mumbai: Civic body lends a helping hand to ensure a ‘cleaner’ and ‘smoother’ Ramzan

Muslims across the city are celebrating the holy month of Ramzan and the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) is lending a helping hand, like every year, to ensure that there are no problems to the smooth flow of festivities in the community strongholds.

Corporators, from the civic body, have sought more water and garbage picking vans for Muslim dominated areas and also asked the corporation to prioritise pothole filling in these regions as the community has started celebrating the month of Ramzan from the Friday. The corporators in the Muslim-dominated wards claim people come in huge numbers for celebration and festivities during the period and hence those wards and areas need more attention. Udaykumar Shiroorkar, Assistant Commissioner of B ward, where falls Mohammed Ali Road, the area which sees maximum footfalls during the month, said the corporation held meetings with all the stakeholders and have directed them not to encroach the road.

“We have already instructed the corporators and other workers to ensure that the vendors do not extend their shops over the footpath and road, as this will hinder the smooth flow of traffic,” said Shiroorkar. The civic body’s other departments, like the Solid Waste Department and the health department, have also ensured that waste is properly collected and maintain the hygiene of food, respectively.

“Food stalls prepare food in the open, which could lead to serious health problems. So, we will ensure that their food is covered,” said a senior official from the health department. He added that an advisory will be sent out to all food stall organisers. Corporators will also be involved in ensuring the safety of the visitors.

“In the evenings, footfalls can go up to 20,000 in our area. Trash cans have been placed at the right spots so there will not be littering. We have also ensured that the street food that the vendors prepare take hygienic measures,” said Rais Shaikh, corporator and leader of the Samajwadi Party. “The corporation has also supported these wards by increasing the number of garbage pick-up vans and adequate water supply during the month,” Shaikh added. Ramzan, the ninth month of the Islamic lunar calendar, is observed as a fasting period by Muslims who abstain from food and water from sunrise to sunset. Eid marks the culmination of fasting.

“On Eid, there is a special sermon, Salat, which is performed only in Jamaat (in congregation). It also has extra takbirs (saying ‘Allah Hu Akbar’, or God is Greater, by raising hands), but it depends on which school of Islam you follow,” said Kavish Sendole, 30, a Mahim student of Islamic studies who wants to become a Maulana. Eid or Eid al-Fitr marks the beginning of the next month, Shawwal. During the first day of Shawwal, no Muslims are allowed to fast, explain Maulanas. “We are guests of Allah so no one should observe roza on the first day of Shawwal. The day is all about having sweets, offering Eidi (a gift) and Zakat (charity) and spreading happiness,” said Maulana Mehmood Dariyabadi, General Secretary, All India Ulema, a body of Muslim scholars.

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