The Brihanmumbai Municipal Company (BMC) authorities have chalked out elaborate plans for the over 15-kilometre (km)-long Mithi river, which is commonly denigrated as Mumbai’s garbage-strewn nullah that begins from Powai and empties into the Arabian sea close to Mahim.
The civic physique is engaged on a grasp plan to create tourism amenities across the river, together with leisure boating amenities on the river or at synthetic holding ponds constructed close to it. The plan consists of setting up leisure amenities corresponding to mangrove parks and gardens and inspiring aquatic life within the water physique.
The river that snakes by way of Kurla, Saki Nakka, and Vakola is commonly much less of a river and extra of a sewer due to rubbish, sewage, plastic and pollution. It’s among the many most polluted water our bodies in Mumbai.
The BMC has failed to wash the river for greater than a decade. The 2005 deluge had introduced Mithi’s deplorable plight to limelight.
The civic physique officers informed HT that creating tourism amenities across the river is a part of the plan to rejuvenate it. The grasp plan will probably be ready by a advisor whereas factoring in all floor realities.
P Velrasu, further municipal commissioner, BMC, stated, “We’re going to appoint a advisor for creating holding ponds and to develop a tourism ecosystem across the river. This is part of the plan for the river’s rejuvenation. We’re drafting a complete grasp plan for this train.’’
A BMC official conceded that the waste discharged illegally in to the river can be a problem, however plans are afoot to divert sewage into municipal pumping stations and block the ingress from the place the pollution enter the river consistent with the ideas of a Swedish advisor.
The synthetic holding pond plan was mooted by the BMC final yr on the strains of Japan. The holding pond will probably be used to retailer the surplus rainwater from the Vehar, Tulsi, and Powai lakes, as an alternative of discharging into the river that overflows throughout monsoon.
The BMC is engaged on a number of features for the river’s rejuvenation, together with encouraging aquatic life, growing inexperienced belt alongside its banks round Powai and Jogeshwari Vikhroli Hyperlink Street. The bid doc ready by BMC cites evaluation on the probabilities of the city growth for business and public actions alongside the river banks and boating amenities in a bid to spice up tourism.
The plans are in consonance with BMC’s finances for 2020-21 that had proposed for a separate allocation for tourism. The civic physique had put aside Rs 183 crore to spice up tourism in Mumbai.
Environmental and civic activists are sceptical of the BMC’s bold plan.
Nikhil Desai, a civic activist from Mumbai, stated, “Mithi river is filthy. A reveller, who desires to go there for a boating tour, will fall unconscious, until there’s a main transformation. The civic physique’s precedence have to be to cease the sewer and industrial waste getting into the river and polluting it. Navigation within the river is just doable, if wanton air pollution of the river will be stopped on the earliest. Although crores have been spent on the train, the outcomes haven’t been encouraging to this point.”
Zeeshan Usman, a ferry proprietor from the Gateway of India in Colaba, stated, “On paper, it seems to be a perfect plan. In a number of international locations, rivers and seas have been interlinked for transport and tourism functions. Nevertheless, nothing will be finished until encroachments are eliminated and a concerted bid is mounted to forestall the indiscriminate dumping of waste into the river.”
Each the Maharashtra authorities and the BMC authorities have come below fireplace a number of instances over their shoddy dealing with of business waste being persistently dumped into the river, particularly after the 2005 deluge, when the river overflowed and Mumbai was marooned for days on finish.
In August 2017, the Supreme Courtroom (SC) had reprimanded the state authorities for turning the river right into a “garbage-strewn drain”.
The apex court docket had stated that no efficient steps seem to have been taken by the state authorities to revive the river much more than a decade after the floods had introduced Mumbai all the way down to its knees. The SC had requested the federal government to deposit Rs 50 lakh with it for organising an knowledgeable committee to salvage the polluted river.