This year, MMRDA has removed 2,69,000 metres of silt from Mithi river, Vakola nulla and other nullas in Bandra Kurla Complex here.
Last year, MMRDA had removed 7.5 lakh cubic metres of silt from the bed of the river and 2,400 cubic metre of stones that resulted in increasing the water-carrying capacity of the river by 1.5 times.
Therefore, even if it rains 25 to 30 per cent higher this monsoon, the river is equipped to carry the excess rain water and hence Mumbaiites will be safe during the rains, said Dilip Kawathkar, Joint Project Director of MMRDA.
He said the plan was to be completed in two phases. Phase I, which includes desilting, widening and deepening of the river, had been completed as per the plan last year.
The work on Phase II, which includes deepening and widening of the river, building of retaining walls to prevent dumping, laying of service roads, creating a green buffer zone, beautification and creation of parks and garden, putting up a mini-golf course and amusement parks, building service roads and the development of a green belt along the bank of the river, will be completed in 18 months, he added.
The Mithi river originates from Vihar Lake and meets the Arabian Sea at Mahim. Total length of the river is 17.83 km and it passes through suburbs like Powai, Marol, Sakinaka, Santacruz, Kurla and Bandra. The challenges of Mithi river are encroachments, solid waste and plastics and constricted water way.
Mr Kawathkar said the encroachments along the river had been removed and measures to prevent re-encroachment of the cleaned area, to stop dumping of solid waste on the banks and to provide for a proper collection and disposal system were underway. Other measures such as cancellation of licenses of polluting industries and curbing discharge of untreated industrial effluents into Mithi river have also been planned. The Authority will also construct public toilets along the river, he informed.
The other project highlights are construction of sewerage treatment plants, construction of retaining walls and pitching along the banks. The water front development includes development of green avenues, covered river front sitting areas, art walk area, parking for over 200 cars, picnic area and amphitheatre, he added.