A tweet from Priti Gandhi, who is National Incharge of Social Media, BJP Mahila Morcha, went viral on 27th June 2021. The tweet compared two pictures: one of a clean river claiming it to be Sabarmati Riverfront of Ahmedabad, Gujarat, and the other allegedly of garbage-choked Mithi river, Mumbai. The tweet meant to show that how governance in Gujarat is better than in Maharashtra.
Priti Gandhi shared the photo claiming a thousand crore was spent in cleaning these rivers.
The post was also shared on Facebook by the user @Bhavya Mehta.
The river filled with garbage is Mumbai's Mithi river.
On doing a reverse image check, we found that the picture of the plastic-choked river is from Manila in the Philippines. A tweet by the user @ErikSolheim shared the picture in 2019.
BBC has also covered the story of the Manila river for their article 'New digital payment system to clean up the environment, where they have shared these images with captions 'Many of the poorest communities are the most affected by plastic waste.'
Lonely Planet and Shutterstock have shared the pictures on their website with captions, "A river of garbage prevents water flow on January 6, 2008, in Manila, Philippines. Poverty and Garbage disposal are major issues in the Philippines".
Garbage on Mitthi River
According to Mumbai Mirror, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has constructed a new bridge in place of the old bridge, which was destroyed by the civic body in 2020. A video was posted on Twitter by the user @ANI on 9th June 2021, which shows overflowing water from the Mithi river entering nearby localities due to the absence of a bridge.
The new bridge incorporates a 1.20-meter wide footpath and 2 meters kept aside for waterlines to escape the fury of the Mithi River, which regularly floods during the monsoon. The Hindu had also reported in 2019, some volunteers removed over 1 lakh kg of plastic and a similar amount of hyacinth from a 350-meter patch of the Mithi river to make the river pollution-free.
"The Hindu" quoting environment and forest ministry data published a news report on 16 January 2021 saying that Sabarmati is among the most polluted rivers in the country.
Gandhi has a record of spreading fake news in the past as well. In May, this year post-Bengal Elections, she was alleged for posting fake videos of the Post-Poll violence in West Bengal. Not only that, last November, she tweeted a video claiming Sikhs raised pro-Khalistan slogans at the farmer's protest when the video is actually from the 2019 world cup.
We can conclude that the claim shared with the photo by Priti Gandhi is false, and the plastic-choked river is from Manila, the Philippines, instead of the Mithi river, Mumbai.
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