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Mahim Bay Exploration

January 3 2015
The robotics club at Xavier Institute of Engineering plans to explore nearby Mahim Bay and inspect the effects of sewage water being released into the ocean.

January 3 2015


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Preparation Stage

Mahim Bay, where we plan to deploy the ROV.


Hi John! How are things looking around Mahim Bay this time of year?

Expedition Background

Xavier Institute of Engineering, Mahim, Mumbai, run by the Jesuits, is located near Mahim Causeway, 200 meter from Arabian Ocean. It has three branches – Computer Engineering, Information Technology and Electronics & Telecommunication Engineering. Among private colleges, it is ranked 4th in Mumbai City and 42nd in India.

The students of Xavier Institute of Engineering have done a lot of robotic projects and competitions. Last year they won the first prize in robotics at a competition held at the Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur.

Now we want to move further and develop our technical skills while benefiting the surrounding community. Close to our college a big sewage line joins the sea. Due to this pollution, fisheries suffer a lot. Sewage not only pollutes the sea water, but also kills sea creatures thereby causing immense damage to the environment.

We want to use underwater robots to measure the pollution and see first hand the effects to sea life. We want to make the union government aware of the pollution sewage water causes to the ocean.

Day by day filth from the city is increasing in the causeway. Unless we prove scientifically, the Government of India is not going to do anything. We want to do research using underwater robots as the ocean is very close to our Institution.

Since water is polluted, fish are also not healthy. But they are caught and sold in the market. People who eat this fish also fall sick and suffer from many deceases.


This sounds like a great cause and I look forward to seeing the results. If possible, please do share the response(s) of the government officials; it is group like you that will make a difference in the world.

I'm also curious to see and better understand the methods you plan to use to measure the sewage pollution.


Wonderful project. All the developing countries do not treat sewage water before it joins the sea. It will open the eyes of both public and government. It does immense damage to the health of the citizens. Since human life is cheap in emerging economies, no body bothers about it.

hi i totally agree there is lot of sewage which goes into the sea which specially affects aquatic life, using the rov to study the ecosystem under the sea bed is the best way to understand how the sewage waste is destroying the sea life, wish you all the best with this exploration

Using the rov to study the effect of sewage on aquatic life is a good idea

The important note from other studies on sewage and reefs: “But what was even more surprising is that corals were able to make a strong recovery within 10 months after the nutrient enrichment was stopped,” Vega-Thurber said. “The problems disappeared. This provides real evidence that not only can nutrient overload cause coral problems, but programs to reduce or eliminate this pollution should help restore coral health. This is actually very good news.” I think your idea of using an OpenROV is a great way to get decision makers and policy leaders to visually see the data! Can't wait to follow along!

This is wonderful! You are setting up the initiative to make some great changes. If a treatment plant becomes part of the raw sewage solution, treated sewage will still feed the fisheries, but the fisheries will then be edible by the local population. Illness free. Rock on!

Thanks, Erika. Hope you can visit Xavier's when the project starts moving. You are welcome to Xavier's, Mumbai, India.

Hi Charlie, your comments add more joy to us as we have launched this project. Thanks.

such a thoughtful project ...

Mumbai Historical records indicate that there were several islands around Mumbai during 1670. However, the Britishers, who were ruling the country identified the importance of these islands for commercial purpose. They deforested the fringing mangroves and reclaimed these islands into one continuous landmass, which later came to be known as "Greater Bombay". Since then the developmental and subsequently population pressure rapidly increased and being the coastal area, it took the toll of mangrove land. During the process of deforestation and reclamation, a few mangrove patches are still left in the heart of the city, which proves that today's megacity had a luxuriant past of mangrove forests. Major mangroves are seen today in Mumbai along the Vasai Creek, Thane Creek, Manori and Malad, Mahim - Bandra, Versova, Siwari, Mumbra - Diva and few more places.

The worst affected area in Mumbai is the entire western front including Mahim Bay (exception is Carter Road where the mangroves have grown and have also registered an increase in height in the last 10 years). This has been possible due to the participation of citizen’s forums fighting individually.

In India, a legal protection is afforded to this ecosystem by way of legislation in the form of Coastal Regulation Zone Notification. Recently Mumbai High Court has ordered freeze on destruction of mangrove forests in Maharashtra and has banned construction within 50 metres of them. The court has also directed to notify mangrove areas as protected forests. Thus, there is already a mechanism provided for management of this ecosystem. Unfortunately, however many a times the legal provisions are not being enforced to curb the illegal activities.

In such a situation, protection of the mangrove ecosystem is possible only through the participation of the local community and by building up pressure groups for ensuring management of this ecosystem and strict implementation of the legal provisions by the Government. Thereby, integrity of habitats critical for spawning, juveniles and feeding and for biodiversity, apart from ecological sustainability and community-sustainability could be maintained.

In the past few years there has been an increase in the awareness of the people in Mumbai. Residents associations are coming together to spread this awareness. They realize that the rapid destruction of mangroves along the coast of Mumbai will have far-reaching effects on the city. The NGOs in Mumbai are making efforts to highlight the issues like land reclamation, coastal regulation zone notification and illegal destruction of the mangrove areas through the interventions of the local state government and a local bodies.

Having lived a few of my childhood days in Mahim Causeway, I know first-hand what this extract really speaks about, and I eagerly look forward to this project.
Not many people do actually know that the black floating water body mass which is locally and disrespectfully referred to as the 'Mahim gutter' was actually once the pristine Mahim Creek - Yes! one of the very few creeks in Mumbai and perhaps the only creek within city limit.
It is disheartening to come to terms that this creek is dying its slow death, unless, we, the people take corrective action on a war footing. Such an initiative is witness to the fact that not all hope is lost and we can restore the creek to its original beauty. Way to go e-Xavierites!

nice initiative :)

Wonderful initiative! ... a wireless sensor network will do a great deal of good for the Mumbai bay


a great project for mumbai

Hope your team can come to the Jesuit Institutions in Africa

Looks great! I hope you win one of the OpenROVs so that you can carry out this mission!

Excellent will help environmentally.

This project will save rivers and oceans in India.

Amazing project to take it up

Very Inspiring





we can get sponsors too for funding this great initiative !

Wow! What a following! Thanks for the invitation @johnrose, imagine what we could do with a fleet of robots out sampling! I'd love to see an example of some of the robots your team has built in the past, have any pictures?!

Amazing topic, really something that needs to be worked on.

Alam yeh moh yeah, lika summmmbooooooooodyyy. You doin a good job yeh.

This project will open the much we pollute the nature.


Why can't I see comments?

What a great use for an ROV. Really looking forward to following this project!