Mumbai civic body seeks expert help for Mithi clean-up

The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has appointed a consultant to provide a solution to the polluted waters of Mithi, Mumbai’s dirtiest river. Recently, the civic body passed a proposal to appoint Frischmann Prabhu (India) Pvt Ltd to conduct field studies and provide short-term and long-term solutions to treat the polluted river.

The consultant has been appointed at a cost of Rs3 crore to provide detailed solutions in the next six months. According to the proposal, the consultant will also study the sewerage lines nearby and suggest ways to treat the water before it is discharged into the river.

A senior civic official said, “Phase-wise reports will be submitted over the six months. For instance, in the first three months, we will look at the geographic survey and put in our suggestions on it.”

This is not the first time that the BMC is looking at finding solutions for the polluted river.

In December 2014, the Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay (IIT-B) had said that the BMC should construct 37 sewage treatment plants along the course of the river to rid it of dirty water. However, the proposal states that the solution is not feasible because of lack of space in the city.

In 2006, the Chitale committee that was appointed to study and suggest remedies post the July 2005 deluge, had suggested desilting, removing encroachments at some places, building a retaining wall, widening and deepening the stream among others.

One of the oldest rivers in the state, the Mithi river has turned into nothing but a drain over the years. The 17.84km-long river originating from Powai runs along cramped slums and industries before meeting the Arabian Sea at Mahim Creek.

In July 2015, Maharashtra environment minister Ramdas Kadam had said that the stream consists of 93% domestic waste and 7% industrial waste. The polluted river and the destruction of mangroves have often been quoted as the primary reasons for the July 2005 deluge in Mumbai.

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