Navi Mumbai Lake Study

Navi Mumbai Lake Study

We proudly call our planet a ‘Blue Planet’. Almost 70% of earth is covered with water. Living organisms cannot survive without water. On land we have several sources of freshwater such as rivers, streams, lakes, ponds, etc. These freshwater sources play an important role in our lives. Early human settlements were located on the banks of these water bodies. Today, we have grown our cities around them.

Most often, in the course of our development, we pollute these freshwater bodies and at times we reclaim them for building something new. These water bodies, though not used for drinking purpose now, have aesthetic and recreational value. They support a good diversity of fish, as well as trees, birds and insects around it. Thus, these water bodies need to be maintained and protected.

Navi Mumbai is a new city developed on a mainland near the coastal island city of Mumbai. The city is blessed with numerous freshwater bodies such as ponds and lakes. Recent data on the NMMC website says that there are 22 lakes and 2 holding ponds in Navi Mumbai.

A study of lakes in Navi Mumbai was conducted by GreenLine in collaboration with S.I.E.S. College of Arts, Science and Commerce. The students surveyed the Dhigha to Belapur wards of Navi Mumbai.

During this study, we found 30 lakes in the said study area. 18 of those lakes appeared polluted by just visual examination. Only 6 lakes appeared clean, the remaining 24 might be unfit for drinking.

Plastic wrappers, flower and garland waste, chocolate and chips packets, were seen in approximately two out of every three lakes. Debris and construction material were found dumped at the edges of two lakes. It is feared that this could be an attempt at illegal reclamation.

As per the visual observations and interview with citizens, it was found that the majority of lakes were used daily for washing clothes, the waste water being released directly in the lake. Thus, an oil film was observed over the water at many locations. The soap water and plastics in the lakes might be releasing toxins in the water. The water was also being used for washing of vehicles and bathing.

The report of this study was submitted to the NMMC Commissioner and City Engineer. Few of the recommendations for the conservation of these lakes were: advanced water testing for water properties and heavy metal contamination; providing separate dustbins for solid waste as well as garland and flower waste; providing alternate cloth washing place in such a manner that wastewater does not enter the lake; etc.

The copy of the report is attached below.