Pune, December 1: Not unknown to the harsh reality that the rivers are dying. And while none of us is stranger to this several organisations and institutions are joining hands to breathe new life into them.
In a similar initiative on National River Day on November 28, the Pune Municipal Corporation pledged to dedicate one day a week for a year to clean the rivers of Mula and Mutha. The Pune civic body has taken up dedicated cleaning initiatives to clean riverbeds.
The first such clean-up drive was kickstarted on November 25, at the Sidheshwar Ghat on Mutha river, where even Mayor Mukta Tilak, along with Pune Municipal Corporation officials, took part.
Speaking to the reporters, Mayor Mukta Tilak, said, “Through the cleaning initiative, we plan to tackle various parameters such as the clean-up of riverbeds to get rivers flowing naturally; secondly, to educate Puneites to stop throwing the waste in these rivers and actually start taking care of them; and lastly, to make these rivers sewage-free and toxin-free.”
The Mayor further said, “We will have a team of volunteers who will help us educate and make people aware of why it is necessary to stop throwing waste in the rivers. Along with the education and awareness drives, we will also start charging fines from people who will be caught violating the rules of not throwing garbage in the river. We think simply by cleaning the rivers one day a week will not solve the purpose; people of Pune should know why they need to protect these rivers.”
According to the Environment Status Report (ESR) 2017-2018, published by the Pune Municipal Corporation, the Mula-Mutha is one of the most polluted rivers in Maharashtra.
The contamination is reported to be a result of untreated sewage and industrial waste, which in turn, has led to the growth of antibiotic-resistant bacteria in the river water. If this continues, the Mula and Mutha rivers could become health hazards.
Over 35 bridges run over these two main rivers in the city. It is a common sight to see people dumping trash into them. And so, in addition to cleaning the rivers, the corporation will also start fining violators who throw garbage into these water bodies.