The Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) signed an agreement with an environmental organisation for the Mithi river clean-up project. Officials said that MMRDA had received a proposal from the Marine Debris Partnership, which includes four organisations that will work towards collecting floating matter from the river and recycling it.
The pilot project will begin from the Vakola nullah in Bandra Kurla Complex (BKC), and the entire project will be completed in 18 months.
Maharashtra environment minister Aaditya Thackeray, who was present at the event tweeted, “We launched two projects of the @MMRDAOfficial to improve the water quality of the Mithi river: Bioremediation & Phytoremediation by bioengineering components; and partnership between MMRDA & UNTIL to clean the marine debris floating in the Mithi.”
Officials said that MMRDA will also be collaborating with the University of Mumbai to improve the water quality of Mithi.
RA Rajeev, metropolitan commissioner, MMRDA, said, “A process of bioremediation and phytoremediation will be used to improve the water quality. We will also share the technology with the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) during the project.”
Saurabh Gupta, founder Earth 5R, one of the organizations involved in the partnership to clear the floating materials in Mithi said, “The project has two components. One is where we conduct training programs for citizens on waste-management and the second is where we look at reducing waste from the river.”
The 17.84-km Mithi river falls under the jurisdiction of both, BMC and MMRDA. The Maharashtra Pollution Control Board (MPCB) had conducted a water quality assessment of eight major State rivers in 2018, which was published in the Maharashtra Economic Survey Report 2018-19. It stated that Mithi river was Maharashtra’s most polluted river and contained human and animal excreta almost 15 times the safe limit.
The 2005 floods that killed more than 1,000 people in the city was caused mainly because the river was clogged.