Around 100 students mapped three stretches of the 15-km Mithi River on Saturday as a trial run to record encroachments, sewage outlets and percolation points using a geographic information system (GIS).
As a part of the exercise aimed at conserving the river, students used the app, My Tracks, available on all Android phones to collect the data. The trial was the Mumbai leg of the World Water Walk, initiated by the waterman of India, Rajendra Singh, who began the five-year Vishva Jalshanti Yatra at Gandhi Samadhi in Delhi on Saturday.
Students from RD National College in Bandra, MD College in Parel and Don Bosco Institute of Technology in Kurla (West) were part of the initiative.
“The idea is to map the Mithi River and identify solid waste in the form of plastic, points where toxicity is present and the amount of concrete along the banks that stops the percolation into the river,” water conservationist, Janak Daftari.
Savio Silveira from Greenline, an NGO, said, “Problems along the Mithi River are immense and the app will help in tabulating the data to analyse the problem. One can take pictures, list geographical locations using GIS technology and record problems along the river. The idea is to have one data bank where issues across various segments along the river can be collated.”
Professor Jitendra Shah, research scientist, computer science department at IIT Bombay conducted a workshop where students were briefed about the process. “People need to generate information on their own to understand the importance of an essential resource like water,” he said.