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Friday, Aug 23, 2019

Polluted river floods Bhiwandi with problems

cities Updated: Aug 10, 2019 00:32 IST
Ankita G Menon
Ankita G Menon

A video of Bhiwandi Nizampur City Municipal Corporation’s (BNCMC) garbage truck dumping waste into the flooded Kamwari river went viral last week.

Residents said they started recording the incident to force the civic body employee from dumping waste. But, he continued to do so.

After the video went viral, the Shelar gram panchayat reportedly issued a notice to the employee asking him to explain his action.

The incident has highlighted the plight of the water bodies in Bhiwandi. Students of Shree Halari Visa Oswal College in Bhiwandi have been working on reviving the Kamwari river for a year.

After the floods in the city last week, principal of the college, Snehal Dhonde, asked the Thane collector to join hands with the college and take immediate action against defaulters for encroachment on the river.

Areas such as Khoni, Mitpada, Shelar, Jaiitunpura, Motherchalla idgah, Saudagar mohalla, Ambika Nagar and Brahman Ali were severely flooded owing to heavy rain.

“The frequent flooding of Kamwari river is due to the illegal buildings and constant dumping of waste, power looms, textile unit constructions and other encroachments along the river bank,” Dhonde said.

“These need to be removed. On one side of the riverbank is Shelar village, and on the other is Tilak Ghat in Nadi Naka,” she added.

“Both have encroached the buffer zone surrounding the river. Lack of enough sewer lines is also a reason for flooding. The river water and the soil beneath is completely polluted and beyond restoration,” the principal said.

“The authorities need to focus on desilting and removing encroachments in Kamwari River,” said Dhonde.

“Almost four decades ago, the width of the river was much more and open lands were there for dispersal of floodwater. However, over the years, the size of the river has shrunk making it vulnerable to flooding,” said Ashish Mahadeo, 54, a resident of Shelar village.

“The floods have had a major impact on the lives of people staying in the vicinity. Some are homeless and others are facing severe issues of health and sanitation,” Mahadeo said.

The effluents from the textile units located on the bank of Kamwari river are severely polluting the river.

“We have requested the BNCMC to take action against the encroachment surrounding the river. We are working on preparing a project that will help restore the river,” said Rajesh Narvekar, collector, Thane.

First Published: Aug 10, 2019 00:32 IST

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