Heavy rain exposes Mutha as garbage dump - Hindustan Times
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Heavy rain exposes Mutha as garbage dump

Jun 15, 2024 06:40 AM IST

Heavy rain in Deccan area inundated Mutha river bank with plastic waste. Citizens blame PMC for failing to prevent dumping. River pollution index 'bad'. Cleanup drives needed.

The recent heavy rain has left the bank of the Mutha river in the Deccan area inundated with plastic and other waste. Worse still, the waste hasn’t been picked up even after a week. Citizens working for river conservation blame the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) for failing to prevent the dumping of waste in the river.

Cleanup drives have been initiated on several occasions and most of the waste is in the form of plastic water bottles, food wrappers and small carry bags. (MAHENDRA KOLHE/ HT)
Cleanup drives have been initiated on several occasions and most of the waste is in the form of plastic water bottles, food wrappers and small carry bags. (MAHENDRA KOLHE/ HT)

The Mutha river bank in the Deccan area is among the most polluted stretches of river in Pune. As per the Maharashtra Pollution Control Board (MPCB), the stretch is categorised as ‘bad’ and the water quality index from January to March this year was recorded between 40.12 and 44.69. The river is polluted by the discharge of untreated sewage water, and dumping of waste and plastic among others.

Cleanup drives have been initiated on several occasions and most of the waste is in the form of plastic water bottles, food wrappers and small carry bags. Citizens and street vendors are regularly seen dumping waste in the river. A member of Swachh on condition of anonymity said that it is necessary to implement a mega awareness drive among people to prevent such dumping. As of now, there are no garbage bins either along the banks of the river. It would be a great help if we could install garbage bins along the river banks, said Harshad Barde, director of Swachh.

Shailaja Deshpande, cofounder, River Foundation, said, “Solid waste, construction waste, and untreated sewage water are the major pollutants as far as the Mutha river is concerned. Citizens are throwing solid waste into the river. To prevent this, the PMC installs nets at some places but the garbage is still being thrown into the river. Moreover, there is no solid mechanism to prevent solid waste from flowing into the river or for collecting waste from the river bank. The least we can do is to extend the net to the point where people won’t be able to throw garbage into the river.”

Sandip Kadam, deputy commissioner (Solid Waste Management Department), PMC, said, “The waste primarily comes from commercial entities that throw garbage into the river late at night. The PMC fines some of these people who are caught red-handed. We also implement a cleaning drive with the help of waste pickers and volunteers. There is a need for fencing along the river bank to prevent garbage dumping in these areas. We have also instructed our waste pickers to collect the waste before it ends up on the river bank.”

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