The Mithi river of Mumbai is a confluence of the tailwaters from the Powai lake and Vihar lake in the city. It is one of the longest rivers running across the capital city of Maharashtra. The river flows through residential and industrial complexes of Kalina, Saki Naka, Kurla, Dharavi, Mahim and a few more locations across the city. The Mithi river had been one of the main sources of freshwater in the city.
However, the growing population and the constant migration has led to a major gap between the demand and supply of freshwater in Mumbai. The residents experience frequent water cuts and have to rely on water tankers. Today, the Mithi river has turned into a sewer as raw sewage and industrial garbage is flown into the water body, directly, without any treatment.
The residents in the slums and fisherman localities lack basic awareness about the need and use of a proper garbage disposal system. The slum dwellers are hence, forced to throw solid waste into the river that flows into the sea. There is an urgent need to educate and provide these communities with an alternative.
Beach Please is a student led initiative to clean the Mithi river and reclaim it as the major source of freshwater that it is. According to the volunteers, the terrifying Mumbai floods of 2005 could be avoided had the rivers and other water bodies been clean. The numerous waterlogged parts of the river were one of the main causes of the overflow of water during the monsoon season. The youth has taken up the mission to clean the beaches and the water bodies. The banks of the Mithi river can be considered landfills as garbage lies around. The cleanliness drives are also under threat with constantly developing settlements in the area. The volunteers spend their weekends cleaning stretches of the Dadar beach and parts of the Mithi river.
There are enormous amounts of religious, medical and industrial waste in the water as well as in the banks of the river. These young citizens have taken up the initiative to bring back the purity of the Mithi river, but it’s a long way to go. You can also contribute by taking the Har Ek Boond pledge. Log onto www.republicworld.com or give a missed call on 1800 120 887788
Watch to know more about the importance of citizen participation in water conservation