Water conservationist and Magsaysay Award Winner, Rajendra Singh, who was in Mumbai last week to talk about the Mithi, lists some of the steps
that can be taken to revive the river
The land along the catchment area and he river banks should not be changed. Allowing larger projects to come up in these areas will damage the river, as well as the mangrove cover.
Untreated pollutants should not be dumped into the Mithi.
Do not concretise the boundaries of the nullahs. Instead, they should be natural boundaries with mangroves.
The government should give back to nature what is has grabbed from it. The land being reclaimed along the river should be given back to the river so that it can flow naturally.
Schools, colleges and other educational institutions, especially those that are near the Mithi, should conduct campaigns to make the people aware of the importance of keeping the river clean.
The rivers are fed by streams that have their origins in the surrounding forests and hills. So, care should be taken to protect all the hills and forests in the state so that the rivers do not run dry.
And finally, public participation is a must. This is not a job to be undertaken only by politicians, bureaucrats and contractors.
- The sources of the Mithi River-Powai and Virar Lakes-should be kept clean and the catchment area should be protected. This will help the river regenerate and become clean.
- Chopping of trees and mining activity should not be allowed near the river source, to prevent contamination.
- Water bodies like ponds and lakes situated along the Mithi should be protected and preserved. They help regenerate the underground water table that will help in the cleanup of the river. For instance, a pond in Kalina, which covered an area of seven acres, has become a dumping ground.
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