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Mumbai’s four major rivers, Dahisar, Mithi, Oshiwara and Poisar, are part of its rich natural heritage. However, none of them reach the sea unsullied; slums, industrial areas and cow sheds all dump untreated, often toxic, waste into them. Instead of channels for excess rainwater, they are now stinking, garbage-lined, slime-filled sewers. Aside from the assault on the senses, they are also reservoirs of disease: residents along their banks are no strangers to malaria, dengue and various skin and respiratory ailments.

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