Mumbai: NCP corporator sits on hunger strike for cleaning Mithi river
The clogging of the 15-km river was considered as one of the major factors responsible for the 2005 Mumbai deluge
A woman corporator of the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) on Wednesday sat on an indefinite fast outside the office of civic chief Ajoy Mehta in the corporation building demanding speedy cleaning of the Mithi river ahead of monsoon. The clogging of the 15-km river was considered as one of the major factors responsible for the 2005 Mumbai deluge.
Protesting NCP corporator Dr Saeed Khan, who represents flood-prone Kurla suburb, also demanded the work to construct a retaining wall along the river be expedited. She alleged the civic body, headed by the Shiv Sena, has failed to construct the retaining wall in the last 12 years. "Even after the court ordered the BMC to construct retaining wall in 2005, the work has not yet been completed.
Piling work is going on to build the wall. The incomplete work of piling is so shoddy that it has created more mess around the area near the river. If not cleaned, the mess could lead to havoc during the monsoon," Khan said. The river, which originates at the Vihar lake, traverses areas like Powai, Saki Naka, Kurla, Kalina, Vakola and BKC, before flowing into Mahim creek in the city.
Its width varies between 25 metres and 75 metres during the entire course. Khan said she sat on strike today as civic officials did not act upon her complaints against the slow pace of construction of the retaining wall. A senior civic official said the BMC is coordinating with the Mithi River Development and Protection Authority (MRDPA) and city collector to clean the river.
"Our work is monitored by the high court. Everything will be fine before the arrival of monsoon," he said. An NGO had said that the river stretch along Saki Naka area is plagued by water hyacinth, which indicates the excessive presence of sewage and garbage.
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