Oshiwara River
Oshiwara river in Jan 2006

Oshiwara River is a river in Mumbai, India. It begins in the Aarey Milk Colony, cuts through the Goregaon hills, across the Aarey Milk Colony before emptying into the Malad Creek. On the way it is joined by another creek near Swami Vivekanand Road, before picking up industrial effluents and sewage while crossing the Oshiwara industrial estates and slums of Andheri . The river is highly polluted and encroachments have shrunk it to a narrow stream. Most of the call centres in Malad have been built on reclaimed ground at the mouth of the river.

After the 2005 Maharashtra floods in Mumbai , efforts are on to widen and clean up the river. Some proposals include converting it into a waterway for barges, setting up small farms on its banks and introduce biogas plants to convert waste into energy. The usual fate of any river flowing through urban India is a miserable death after being converted to an ugly ditch. The rivers are ravaged by industrial wastes dumped without concern or fear of the environmental protection authorities. Equally guilty are the general public who recklessly dump household filth and untreated sewage directly into the slowly but surely dying river. The indifferent and apathetic public scarcely take note of such grandiose plans which are stillborn and are not meant to be taken seriously in India.

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