The Ulhas river in Thane and Raigad districts is similar to the Mithi river that flows in Mumbai suburbs that flows from Vihar lake and receives the overflows from the Powai lake about 2 km later.
It flows for a total of 15 km before it meets the Arabian Sea at the Mahim creek, flowing through residential and industrial complexes.
It is an example of how environmental degradation can affect a city. With citizens dumping raw sewage and industrial waste into the river, its flow completely got blocked leading to flooding on July 26, 2005 in the suburbs taking toll of several lives.
The river has been a natural drainage channel that carries excess water during monsoons. Six months after Mumbai’s July 26 floods, a comprehensive plan to restore the choked Mithi river was promised by Maharashtra government.
The government announced that the first phase of the revival of the Mithi river would be over by the start of the 2006 monsoons, so that the city would not flood again.
The state also announced the constitution of the Mithi River Development Authority to execute the work more effectively.
Following a qpublic outcry and study reports, the Maharashtra Pollution Control Board surveyed and collected information about a list of unlicensed units identified by the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) and suggested that action be first taken against the encroachment upto 30 metres on the banks of the river and then against encroachments beyond 30 metres for securing environment compliance.
Many young entrepreneurs in and around Mumbai are now aggressively involved with the cause of Mithi river, and creating awareness about it on a global scale.