Eight years and Rs 550 crore later, the Mithi river continues to be polluted. But its clean-up – a pet project of Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray – has been fast-tracked.
According to sources, environment minister Ramdas Kadam has been asked to ensure the clean-up of the Mithi river is done well before the February 2017 BMC elections.
At present, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) is struggling to desilt the river and remove the garbage dumped every day by locals on either side of the river. But in two years, Kadam said he will make sure citizens will be able to enjoy a boat ride on a clean Mithi river.
Kadam charted a two-year plan for the river’s clean-up during an hour-long meeting between the Mumbai collector, environment officials and BMC officials on Thursday. The minister said once cleaned, the river will be open for Mumbaiites to enjoy walks along the river front.
Further, electricity and water connections to the 103 industrial units along the Mithi, responsible for polluting the river, will be shut down. He said pipelines are being laid on a 12-km stretch on both sides of the river to collect the polluted water and direct it to a treatment plant. The BMC has allotted Rs 350 crore for this.
Kadam also asked the collector to set aside another Rs 25 crore from the district funds to beautify the area around the river, from where encroachments are being cleared.
“There will be pavements and benches put up, which will make the area encroachment-free and people will start enjoying the river,” said Kadam.