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HomeFact checkAn Old Image Of Manila’s Garbage-Ridden River Falsely Passed Off As Mumbai’s...

An Old Image Of Manila’s Garbage-Ridden River Falsely Passed Off As Mumbai’s Mithi River

Social media users passed off an image of Manila’s garbage-ridden river as Mumbai’s Mithi river. This was shared along with an image of Ahmedabad’s Sabarmati riverfront as a comparison of work done by the government of the two states—Maharashtra and Gujarat. 

Screenshot of the two images shared with claim in context
Screenshot of the two images shared with claim in context

Bharatiya Janata Party’s Priti Gandhi tweeted the two images with the caption, “Pic 1 – Sabaramati Riverfront, Ahmedabad, Gujarat. (Fund spent by Gujarat State: ₹1400 crores). Pic 2 – Mithi River, Mumbai, Maharashtra (Funds spent by BMC & MMRDA: ₹1000+ crores) #TaleOfTwoCities #ModiHaiToMumkinHai”

Gandhi’s tweet received over 2.5K likes and 1.3K retweets at the time of writing this article. An archived version of her tweet can be viewed here

This claim was shared by other users on Twitter and Facebook as well. 

Earlier this month, Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation built a bridge over Mithi river in a record period of five months. “The old and badly-dilapidated bridge, built in 1940, was declared dangerous and demolished in December 2020,” said BMC Additional Municipal Commissioner P. Velarasu via Mumbai Mirror. The new bridge includes a 1.20 metre wide footpath on both sides as well as protective walls on either side to help with floods during monsoons. 

Also Read: Over A Decade-Old Image Of Crowd Gathered Around Water Tanker In Delhi Shared As Recent

Fact Check / Verification

We performed a Google reverse image search for both images shared by users in the claim. The first image led us to Sabarmatiriverfront.com and can be seen under ‘River Promenade’ on scrolling down. 

Screenshot of a Google reverse image search on Sabarmati riverfront
Screenshot of a Google reverse image search on Sabarmati riverfront

A reverse search of the second image led us to a June 2019 article published by the BBC titled, “A simple online system that could end plastic pollution.”

Screenshot of a Google reverse image search on Manila's garbage-ridden river
Screenshot of a Google reverse image search on Manila’s garbage-ridden river

The BBC article details how tonnes of plastic trash was removed from Manila Bay in the Philippines by paying volunteers through digital currencies. Brooklyn-based Bounties Network began their pilot project in December 2018, which later led to other organisations following similar systems to clean-up the city’s plastic waste. This article includes the garbage-ridden river’s image with the caption, “Many of the poorest communities are the most affected by plastic waste,” and credited to Getty Images. 

An image of Manila's garbage-ridden river published in a June 2019 BBC article
An image of Manila’s garbage-ridden river published in a June 2019 BBC article

We also found the garbage-ridden river’s image on Lonely Planet captioned, “Shanties on stilts standing on a polluted river in the Philippines,” and credited to Getty Images. 

The image was also uploaded on Shuttterstock.com by Antonio V Oquias. It’s description reads, “MANILA, PHILIPPINES – JANUARY 6: 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.”

An image of Manila's garbage-ridden river published on Shutterstock
An image of Manila’s garbage-ridden river published on Shutterstock

Also Read: Did Nepal Or China Cause Flooding In Bihar & UP?

Conclusion

Social media users falsely passed off an image of Manila’s garbage-ridden river as Mumbai’s Mithi river in a comparison with Sabarmati riverfront in Ahmedabad. 

Result: Misleading 

Our Sources

Sabarmati Riverfront: https://sabarmatiriverfront.com/

BBC: https://www.bbc.com/future/article/20190613-a-simple-online-system-that-could-end-plastic-pollution

Lonely Planet: https://www.lonelyplanet.com/articles/philippines-tackles-its-waste-problem-by-building-roads-from-recycled-plastic

Shutterstock: https://www.shutterstock.com/image-photo/manila-philippines-january-6-river-garbage-81096307


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Nikita Vashisth
Nikita is a writer and editor for English fact-checking. She also leads projects to understand the misinformation and fake-news ecosystem—with an emphasis on data and psychology. Previously, she has worked with IndiaSpend, CNN-News18 and written for Citizen Matters and Mongabay-India on the environment, health, and politics. She’s a postgraduate of the Computational Journalism program at Cardiff University, Wales.

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