A report submitted to the Municipal Commissioner last week says discharge of raw sewage, animal waste and garbage are the main causes of pollution in three of the city’s rivers — Dahisar, Poisar and Oshiwara. The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC)’s chief engineer (storm water drains) said in a statement that the problems pointed out and solutions given in the report were already part of the civic body’s plan to rejuvenate the rivers.
The report by River March, an NGO that has been campaigning for the rejuvenation of Mumbai’s four rivers, was prepared over two weeks in May-June after teams of two members visited all three rivers to check for contamination. River March did not survey Mithi river as the BMC has already begun a river-cleaning project there.
Sagar Vira, member of River March, told The Sunday Express, “We have taken photos of locations where the garbage is dumped into the rivers. The GPS coordinates of the photographed locations have been noted. We submitted this report to Munici-pal Commissioner Praveen Par-deshi and chief engineer of Storm Water Drain (SWD) department V H Khandkar last week and we are hopeful of a positive outcome to save these rivers.” The report says residents from slums, public toilets and cowsheds along the rivers dump waste into the water.
“Many slums discharge raw sewage into the river. We have recommended that sewerage lines should be laid in slums to stop discharge of raw sewage.
V H Khandkar, the SWD chief engineer, told The Sunday Express, “The BMC has already taken steps to rejuvenate the rivers and all the problems pointed out and suggestions given by River March are part of the civic body’s plan. We have floated tenders to rejuvenate Dahisar River and are preparing tenders for Poisar. All three rivers start from the Sanjay Gandhi National Park and sewage and garbage is discharged into them when they pass through slums. Discharge of raw sewage and animal waste in Dahisar River is the main reason for pollution. We have planned to lay sewerage lines and all the sewage will be diverted to treatment plants. Also, interceptors will be installed at several locations to stop sewage and divert it to plants. We have also started penalising those who are throwing garbage in drains.”