Not a single rupee from Centre for Mithi River clean-up: RTI

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Mumbai, Dec 16 : The Centre government has not sanctioned any funds whatsoever for the cleaning and development of Mumbai's sole flowing water body, the Mithi River, as per an RTI reply. Mithi River had created a huge havoc during the great floods of July 26, 2005, when it submerged even the Mumbai international airport and other areas in its path. Thereafter, the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) had sought central assistance of Rs 1,657.11 crore to clean, and develop it, as well as for sewerage management and other aspects. Seeking details of the same, Mumbai RTI activist Anil Galgali sought details from MMRDA on the progress of the river project and the funding received from the Centre till date. "Shockingly, the RTI reply said that the Centre has not given a single penny to the MMRDA though its 15 years since the 26/7 deluge and the subsequent floods that paralysed Mumbai for more than three days," he said. As per the RTI replies, the MMRDA had sought Rs 417.51 crore for the development works it had carried out, besides the BrihanMumbai Municipal Corporation which demanded Rs 1,239.60 crore for the work carried out in its jurisdiction. After the flooding owing to the choking of the Mithi River - which was flanked by large-scale illegal encroachments and effluents discharge - the then Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had announced a financial package for the widening and development of the river. Accordingly, the state government set up the ambitious Mithi River Development and Conservation Authority to implement the project but in the absence of the central funds, it continues to languish, and barely 35 percent has been implemented, said Galgali. Mithi River originates from the lakes in the lush green hills of Sanjay Gandhi National Park, passes adjacent to the Mumbai airport and after flowing 18 km, empties into the Arabian Sea near Mahim. It also has tributaries in the north-western suburbs that flow in Borivali, Kandivali and Goregaon, which also empty into the Arabian Sea. /IANS




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