Architect and urban conservationist explains why it’s so important to revive and save the few rivers that flow through Mumbai
umbai’s evident cultural history is more than 2,000 years old and the existence of its rivers, the Dahisar, Poisar, Oshiwara and Mithi ( on Salsette Island alone) along with the smaller streams and rivulets, is even older. The island city then described as ‘ the city of seven islands’ with hills, had its fair share of these natural monsoon water flows. What remains today are names like Pydhonie ( meaning washing of feet), which marked the mouth of the first creek to be claimed, and Mahul. our estuaries and seas. tion of flood line profile of one in 10 years, one in 25 years and one in 100 years. It has further recommended making of a holistic plan considering the geographic boundaries of the catchment area and laid emphasis on ecological revival of riverbed and its edges. Much of this wisdom seems to have been ignored in the singular quest of concretising the river bed and edges, leading to a sterile channel devoid of a healthy eco- habitat. be treated before being released into the rivers and water bodies. A number of technologies – dewats, soil biotechnology, bio and phyto remediation to name a few – are available within the country to treat these seemingly enormous volumes of ‘ wastewater’. The management of solid waste, domestic and street garbage, cattle waste from tabelas, small- scale industrial waste and most importantly plastic, requires the common man to play an active role in composting wet waste at source, segregation of waste and its appropriate disposal and ensure that the civic administration reciprocates suitably.
Poisar river as photographed in 2007