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*AND NO ONE GIVES A DAMN; not political parties anyway!
*Mumbai Suburbs Are Built On A River Of Poison”
*As that bearded gentleman in a pathani suit standing on the bridge with us said “Zehar se Amrit nahin nikalta”*
*26 July 2005 FLOOD will happen again, says IIT-B report on Mithi River on #THERKBSHOW with Rkb, Adv Pradeep Nambiar, Nicholas Almeida #GodfreyPimenta and #WatchdogFoundation on #NEWSWORLDINDIA
*Of the 124 MLD (Million Litres per Day) carried by the river/sewer only 5% is river water, rest is raw sewage
*1000s of crores have been spent on transforming it from sewer to river but it remains a sewer
*Poisoning of the river starts at its origin itself; at Vihar and Powai lakes
*Industrial effulgents, gasoline, aviation fuel, human waste amounting to almost 118 million litres is dumped DAILY into the Mithi
*Industrial units continue to pour their waste in the Mithi in spite of a Court Order
*Time for all of us to begin #CLEANINGMITHIRIVER

*Encroachments, reclamation, improperly built retaining walls, indiscriminate dumping of industrial effluents and solid waste have made the 17.84km river ‘an open drain’, and consequently, left the city vulnerable to a deluge similar to the one on July 26, 2005, according to a report submitted by the state government to the Supreme Court (SC).

*During the deluge, 944mm of rain over 24 hours, including 190.3mm between 3.30pm and 4.30pm, combined with a high tide of 4.48m resulted in severe flooding in the river’s catchment area of 7,295 hectares.

*The river, which meets the Arabian Sea at Mahim creek, starts at the Vihar and Powai lakes and passes through several areas of the city’s suburbs

*Also, less than 5% of the river has been planned for treatment, said the 243-page report. “It is important to note that of the 124 million litres a day (MLD) that flows into Mithi, only 6 to 8 MLD is planned for treatment,” said the report. This means effectively, 95% of the river is sewage, according to an expert who prepared the report.

*The report, prepared by the Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay (IIT-B) and National Environmental Engineering Research Institute (NEERI), along with two independent experts, is likely to be discussed by the SC on December 7.

*The report was submitted on March 13 by then additional chief secretary Satish Gavai. The matter was based on a petition filed by environment group Vanashakti.

*On August 16, 2017, SC had ordered the formation of a panel to ensure pollution in the river reduces and its restoration begins soon, while slamming the state for not taking any steps to rectify the situation over 12 years.

*The government deposited ₹50 lakh with the court for expenses incurred by the committee to study and restore the river. “As large-scale urbanisation, encroachments, and development have taken place in the river basin, a repeat of the 2005 deluge is inevitable,” the report concluded. “Earlier committees recommended the removal of encroachments along the river with a minimum buffer of at least 15m. However, even after 13 years since the deluge, this work is not complete and the issue of encroachment removal has not been taken seriously by authorities. Hence, the river has become a solid waste dumping yard and gets polluted owing to sewage entering directly from slums…,” the report concluded.

*The report identified Bandra Kurla Complex (BKC) as a source for flooding and called for an immediate need to widen bridges. “The major problem of flooding is because of reclamation(620 hectares) for BKC and owing to the bottleneck forming of non-widened bridges at the downstream of the river,” it read. “It is a damning report about the current condition of the river, but it clearly establishes the loopholes and how state agencies need to work in tandem to revive this water body,” said Gavai, currently posted as additional chief secretary (industries), Maharashtra . “We need to take inspiration from the revival of Europe’s Rhine River, which was many times more polluted than Mithi, but countries like Austria, Switzerland, Germany, France and the Netherlands came together to develop a robust restoration plan.”

*From extremely poor water quality, poor infrastructure, inappropriate construction of roads, setting up of unauthorised industries, and slum settlements, the report collated by four scientists from NEERI, led by director Dr Rakesh Kumar, three scientists from IIT-B, professor AD Sawant and architect PK Das, divided Mithi into 15 zones and suggested short-term and long-term restoration measures for each zone to be ‘implemented at the earliest’.

*Areas around BKC not only have slums, but massive buildings that have been illegally constructed on floodplains. Construction of retaining walls in areas around Aarey Colony and further towards Sanjay Gandhi National Park can be disastrous for such areas as the interaction with the river reduces significantly,” said a committee member.

The report compared recommendations from nine previous committee reports between 2006 and 2017, including the one by the Chitale committee soon after the 2005 deluge and the Maharashtra Pollution Control Board (MPCB). The recommendations directed government bodies to put a stop to industrial effluent discharge and setting up sewage treatment plants (STPs) to capture domestic waste from adjoining encroachments. “However, it has been observed that no proper planning and execution work was carried out,” read the report, adding that unauthorised industries continued to dump effluents in the river.