After a wall collapsed in Kajutekdi slum in Bhandup last week killing two people and leaving two seriously injured, the BMC’s S ward and MHADA have identified 161 spots with vulnerable structures in a survey in Bhandup, Powai and Kanjurmarg that need urgent attention.
On Monday, the BMC began demolition of walls at Tembipada in Bhandup (West), a hilly region where slums and shanties have been constructed. Sources in the BMC said walls here have developed cracks and become fragile, and heavy showers could cause them to crumble and claim lives. One such area on the BMC’s radar is Ghadge Chawl, which is replete with degraded brick walls, open sewers, and makeshift roofs that could crash in case of heavy showers or a landslide.
In last year’s survey by the BMC and the Maharashtra Housing and Area Development Authority (MHADA) therewere 148 such spots in Bhandup, Kanjurmarg and Powai areas. The number has risen to 161 this year. “We have completed our inspection of all the slums in areas under the S ward. Most of these slums are in hilly terrain and thus prone to landslides and wall collapses. Before demolishing dangerous walls we give caution notices to the residents to vacate the place,” said a BMC official.
On Monday Nirmal chawl, another slum in Bhandup, was hit by a landslide where a wall collapsed. However, no casualties were reported and the occupants were shifted to a municipal school nearby. The official added, “Our structural engineer will submit a proposal for rebuilding of the wall in Kajutekdi and the remedial measures to be taken. The draft will be confirmed by the building proposal department and an architect, after which MHADA will start the construction of the wall. The process may take over two months to finish.”
Each year, despite eviction for repair work slum dwellers return to their homes. “For BMC-authorised slums we provide temporary accommodation till the work gets done but many slums are unauthorised. So, even if we forcibly evict the dwellers, they return despite knowing it is dangerous for habitation.” Shiv Sena’s Kiran Surve, supervising the Kajutekdi work, said, “Workers cannot work when it’s raining heavily and thus even if the wall is completely demolished it will take some time for MHADA to build a new one.”
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