After conducting experiments to rid Mithi river of pollutants to cut stench and and improve its water quality,the MMRDAs river clean-up project is likely to be shelved as it has hit a cost hurdle,approximately Rs 10 crore a year. The decision on whether to go ahead will be taken after the feasibility report from the National Environmental Engineering Research Institute (NEERI) is submitted,MHADA officials say.
The initial experiment of oxygenating the river,the suburbs main natural stormwater drain,a nullah bearing industrial effluents and waste from slums,was not a complete success owing to the huge quantity of flowing water,said the officials. MMRDA roped in another agency,which rapidly infused oxygen into the river stretch at Vakola Nullah to tackle sulphides that gives Mithi its dark colour and strong odour.
We are now waiting for the feasibility report of the NEERI. Any decision will be taken after that. We expect the reports in a couple of months, said Dilip Kawathkar,Joint Project Director,MMRDA.
A senior MMRDA official,requesting anonymity,said,It seems unlikely we would go ahead with the project as cost is high. The modalities are yet to be worked out,but it would approximately cost around Rs 10 crore a year to keep Mithi clean and odour-free.
Untreated waste is dumped into the 18-km river through 43 drains along the stretch. The MMRDA is also planning to develop a 6-km stretch under its maintenance as an eco-tourist spot. The MMRDA is hoping if the project is implemented it would reduce pollutants and revive the river.