Ar­chi­tect and ur­ban con­ser­va­tion­ist ex­plains why it’s so im­por­tant to re­vive and save the few rivers that flow through Mum­bai

DNA Sunday (Mumbai) - - FRONT PAGE -

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.

Pic: KRVIA M Arch Stu­dents ( 2007 batch)

Poisar river as pho­tographed in 2007

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