(The article was first published on 31 May 2017. It is being reposted from The Quint’s archives in light of the incessant rainfall the city has been receiving since Tuesday afternoon, i.e., 19 September.)
Every time the month of June approaches, Mumbai starts getting nervous. What if the deluge of 2005 happens again? At the centre of that chaos was the neglected Mithi river that just couldn’t take the trash, sludge, debris and silt anymore.
Well, it’s that time of the year again. With monsoons slated to arrive by 10 June this year, the BMC, also the richest civic body in India, has assured people that 45 percent of desilting works have been completed along the river. The Quint decided to do an on-ground spot-check, live on Twitter.
Behrampada, Bandra (East)
Mumbai International Airport
90 Feet Road, Saki Naka
Bail Bazaar, Saki Naka
Mittal Estate, Marol
Most of this stretch seemed to flow (even though black in colour), so an attempt at desilting has been made by the BMC. However, the banks of the river are still sludgy with silt.
Moving up the Mithi, we reached the area where waters of the industrial areas of Kurla and Dharavi come downstream. Discharge into the river consists of heavy chemicals along with the regular fare of plastics, cloth, sewage and metals.
If that wasn’t clear:
Safed Pul, Saki Naka
Building a wall around the Mithi river may have been the knee jerk solution after 2005, but how do we plan to save it by cutting off its interaction with the mangroves?