Once carrying as clean water as to be worth drinking, the Poisar River turned into a virtual gutter, courtesy human greed. But now the people have woken up to clean it
The savoury effects of a people’s initiative to clean the waters of Mumbai’s river, Poisar, are now becoming visible. Meandering its way from the hills of Sanjay Gandhi National Park to Dahisar and Borivali before becoming one with the Arabian Sea, the river was once so clean as to be the source of drinking water to numerous villages and suburbs that nestled along its banks. The water used to be clean and people living around used to immerse the images of Lord Ganapati into it instead of the sea at the end of the festival of Ganesh Chaturthi.
Sadly, as the years went by the vicious nexus between municipal officials on the one side and the strong lobby of avaricious builders and developers on the other took over its banks and encroached upon it up to its seams, constricting and choking it so severely as to mark its virtual death.
Today this once gurgling stream has turned into a listless gutter. The muck from the houses around finds its way into the river. This has robbed it of its pride and chastity. The deep and pungent stench emanating from it all the time carries a constant threat of an outbreak of one disease or the other. The residents living around had to pay a heavy price of sullying the river. Twelve years ago a sudden cloudburst had swelled Poisar perilously and its waters stormed into numerous houses in the vicinity. People caught many diseases due to flooding of streets and residential enclaves. This woke up the State government and municipal corporation to the long drawn plight of the river but as the waters receded the sad state of the river was conveniently forgotten and the officials lapsed into their habitual slumber.
Yet, recently the people of Krantinagar that jostle together with Kandivali East took a noble step by deciding to undertake a mission to clean the river and restore its serenity of yore. An appeal was issued to everybody to desist from dumping any kind of waste into the the river. To raise the level of consciousness a river march was taken out and residents went around appealing and convincing each other to take part in the drive to save the river getting from bad to worse. People took a solemn vow to keep its banks free of all kinds of waste and muck, including plastic and polythene bags. People’s such well -meaning move is now showing results. The locals have been joined by their legislator and municipal councillor who now support the move. Efforts are on to avoid all concrete work around the river and big machines have been brought in to take out muck from Poisar and to dredge it deep to restore its depth and flow. In the first round, about 40,000 kilos of silt and muck have been taken out. The people inhabiting the nearby slums have been requested to avoid urinating and defecating anywhere near the river.
Officials have now assured to construct bio-toilets so that the river is no longer abused and its waters could get clean. The ranks of those who decided for the upkeep of the river are swelling every day. This holds a great promise for the restoration of Poisar to its old glory and charm.
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