Mithi – Walking Along A Running River

 Guest Blog by Gopal MS aka Slogan Murugan

This story of Mithi River from Mumbai is third in the series of online stories of urban rivers from across India. Please share your feedback and provide us with suggestions (read more in appendix). If you have any urban river stories or images that you might want to share, please send them to ht.sandrp@gmail.com and asid@veditum.org.

PLZ DO WATCH THE AMAZING 43 frame slide show.

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In Indian cities, if the main roads of a city are its arteries, then its other important geographical feature, the city’s rivers, streams and drains, will qualify as its veins.

In Mumbai, one of the biggest drains is also an invisible river. Of a city that is a large island, with a national park as its crown and a mangrove forest all around it. For many people who live and work in the city, it was on July 26, 2005, standing in up to neck-deep water, when the river that once flowed through the heart of our city was noticed. The Mithi river. The other rivers in the city are Dahisar, Oshiwara and the Poisar.

Usually, you can spot drains in most Indian cities by using your nose. In Mumbai, the banks of the Mithi are where several of the economic activities that cannot function in residential areas, are located. Recycling, sorting of wastes, car dump yards, the scrap market, to name a few. Several of the economic activities that operate around or along drains are the ones that cannot function in other areas because space has not been allocated for them in the city plans.

The dirty river, besides many other functions of the river, also serves a very important economic functions and also forms the underbelly of the city. The river has become the other side of us, one we wish not to see. This slide show on Mithi river provides many glimpses of this reality.

Please leave your feedback or questions for the author in the comments, or you can write to the author directly at gopalms@gmail.com. Share this river story with others, and please use #IndiaRiversDay2017 in the description if sharing on social media. We look forward to hearing your responses.

About the author: Gopal MS aka Slogan Murugan is an avid photographer and documents the many facets of urban India. You can find more of his documentation of Mumbai at http://mumbaipaused.blogspot.in/ and get hold of some of his work in digital format at http://footpathbookshop.com/


As part of the India Rivers Day 2017 event, we held an exhibition based on this year’s theme – ‘Rivers in the Urban Context’. Responding to our call for entries, many individuals and organisations shared urban river stories/documentation from across India, making it a lively and diverse collection.

However, a concern shared by the organising committee and many of our visitors, has been the limited distribution of these important and insightful river stories if restricted only to the physical form of the exhibition. It is in this stead that we’re starting a series of blogs where we will share these various river stories, though the experience of the exhibition can only be justified when visited in personal capacity.

If all goes well, we will soon announce dates for the exhibition to be open in more venues across Delhi and other cities too. If you want to or can help us taking this exhibition to a local venue near you, please contact us at ht.sandrp@gmail.com and indiariversweek2014@gmail.com.

4 thoughts on “Mithi – Walking Along A Running River

  1. very beautifully photographed. But I strongly believe that we have lost all the sensitivity towards our own mothers due to whom we exist.We ate here because rivers support human settlements. And we forget the very existence of the fact why we are here.


  2. It is written, “…also serves a very important economic functions and also forms the underbelly of the city.” Actually no economic activity on the bank of this river depends on the river. It is just the background. Being a dirty Nullah, inherently repelling, it provides cheap accommodation and business space for the poor. That seems the only economic aspect of the river.

    But the photographs are lively. Complements for them.


    1. Thank you. Yes. You are right too. The banks of the river (or the dirty nullah as you see it) provides the cheap real estate. However, waste recycling and affordable (mostly illegal) place to conduct business not allowed in other parts of the city is also part of the economy of the city. Is it important. I feel it is.

      Liked by 1 person

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