The Ulhas River originates near Karjat, and flows westward through Raigad and Thane districts
of Maharashtra, along Kulgaon-Badlapur, north to Ulhasnagar (to which it gives its name) and
on to Kalyan.
River Kalu and Bhatsa merge into Ulhas near Kalyan and moves ahead towards
Thane where the river splits into two branches which flow west and south into Thane Creek
(flows south to empty into Bombay Harbour) and into the estuary of Vasai Creek respectively.Both branches are estuarine, and lie on seismic fault lines.
The estuary of the Ulhas is the site of
the historical ports of Kalyan, Kopri and Shurparaka (now Sopara).
It is the only largest river that
exists in the Mumbai metropolitan region, passing through major towns and ending in two
major creeks namely the Thane and the Vasai (Bassein) creek.
It is also a source of
livelihood to many river dependent communities particularly fisher folks, who fish in the fresh
and the estuarine waters of the river.
The river has turned into none other than a nallah, full of
filth and dirt. The once perennial river now dries post monsoon and is only carrying sewage and
Once teaming with fresh water and marine life the river is now lifeless, in
most of its reach. The water has caused severe health issues for its dependents, the riverine
and estuarine biodiversity has been lost substantially and livelihoods have been lost.
Vanashakti’s initiative intends to examine the extent of toxicity of the river, make a restoration
plan to revive it to its original form and seek accountability from the authorities responsible for
the health and well being of the river, for its revival.