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Dead pigs in dying rivers

Saturday, July 15, 2017
By Sonali Telang

Even after the consistent cleanliness drives by citizens along Mumbai river-banks, the condition along the stretch of Poisar river reveals the sorry state of the city's water bodies. It was only in May when a citizens' movement to revive the rivers of Mumbai led to the removal of around 1.7 lakh kilos of garbage from the Poisar River over five consecutive weekends. While the state of the river has turned stale again, citizens have alleged the negligence from the civic body towards the rivers.

On Wednesday, three dead pigs were seen in the same river, that subsequently got washed away in the water stream owing to the lack of action by the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation(BMC). However, citizens have pointed out the clandestine practice of pig farming near the area which has resulted in repeated sightings of dead pigs at the Poisar river. “On Wednesday, three dead pigs were spotted in the Poisar river, we informed the authorities but they were not removed. They got washed away later. There are many pig farms that are operating near the area. It is happening in front of the local corporators and yet no action has been taken as of now,” said Tejas Shah, member of the citizen group River March.

The citizen group has been actively engaged in rejuvenation of four rivers of Mumbai-Poisar, Dahisar, Oshiwara and Mithi. Time and again, it has highlighted the repercussions of the rampant concretisation of river beds by the civic bodies and has now raised the issue of livestock farming near the rivers. Last December, carcasses of six calves were found in the Dahisar River. “We have seen bodies of dead pigs lying in the Poisar river many times.
The farming tabelas dump these pigs in the river if they are not fit enough or die in the farms. The BMC have been negligent about it though it can turn the place a breeding ground of infections. It is not only harmful for the health of residents but the bodies, if washed away, can also clog the river resulting in flood,” said Gopal Jhaveri, member of River March.

With the deteriorating condition of Mumbai's river, there is an urgent need to work tooth and nail on improving their state, as the dirty water ends up in the city's coast. Last month, Amruta Fadnavis, banker and social activist personally went down to Dahisar River to look into the issue of pollution and assured the citizens to work on revival of the rivers. River March has also approached the Chief Minister, Devendra Fadnavis, to intervene in the matter. The Chief Minister will hear the citizens' grievances on the issue today.

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