English, Fake News

Garbage-filled River in Philippines is falsely shared as Mithi River in Mumbai


A post is being widely shared on social media claiming that an image of a plastic-choked river is that of Mithi river from Mumbai, Maharashtra. Let us fact-check the claim made in the post.

Claim: Photo of Mithi River in Maharashtra compared to Sabarmati Riverfront in Gujarat.

Fact: While the first image is of Sabarmati Riverfront, the photo which is to be claimed to be Mithi River from Mumbai, Maharashtra is actually from Manila, Philippines. The caption in Shutterstock, a stock photo website is read as ‘A river of garbage prevents the flow of water on January 6, 2008, in Manila, Philippines.’ Hence the claim made in the post is FALSE.

When reverse image search of the first image in the post – which claims to be from Sabarmati Riverfront, Gujarat – is done, it is found to be actually true. The same image can be seen in a news article titled, ‘Sabarmati Riverfront project: Gujarat looks to promote tourism’ published on 18 November 2013.

When reverse image search of the other photo is done, a BBC article titled, ‘A simple online system that could end plastic pollution’ was found with the same image. The caption of the image in the article reads, ‘Many of the poorest communities are the most affected by plastic waste.’ This article talks about the promising innovation of digital payouts to combat ocean pollution in Manila, Philippines. Another article titled, ‘Philippines tackles its waste problem by building roads from recycled plastic’ has the same photo with the caption, ‘Shanties on stilts standing on a polluted river in the Philippines.’ The same photo can be seen in stock photo website Shutterstock with the caption read as ‘A river of garbage prevents the flow of water on January 6,2008 in Manila, Philippines. Poverty and garbage disposal are major issues in the Philippines.’

In a Twitter post published on 09 June 2021 by ANI, a video is shown where, due to heavy rainfall in Mumbai, the Mithi river overflowed and its water entered nearby localities in the Kurla area. The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has recently thrown open an east-west connecting road bridge over the Mithi River. The new bridge was constructed in the place of the old bridge which had been demolished by the civic body in December 2020, according to the Mumbai Mirror article. According to Frontline article, BMC has set aside Rs. 1,400 crores this year for the rejuvenation and beautification of Dahisar, Poisar, and Oshiwara (or Walbhat) rivers; ‘The Mithi River will receive special treatment because it has received a high level of abuse. It has a separate budget of Rs 569.52 crore,’ says the report.

To sum it up, Garbage-filled River in Philippines is falsely shared as Mithi River in Mumbai.


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