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Cylinder blast wakes up NMMC officials to lack of transit camps

It took a cylinder explosion for Navi Mumbai Municipal Corporation (NMMC) officials to realise that they had no temporary arrangements to house people. After the LPG cylinder blast in Panchratna building in Nerul damaged the structure, 200 people were asked to vacate their homes till the building was certified to be safe. It was then that the lack of rehabilitation facilities came to the fore.

MiD DAY’s report on February 7
MiD DAY’s report on February 7

MiD DAY had reported on the situation of the residents of the affected building, who are currently living in the open inside their society premises. Civic authorities met the City and Industrial Development Corporation (CIDCO) officials and requested them to provide about 2,000-sq ft plots in each node of the satellite city to construct transit camps.

At the NMMC general body meeting that was held in the afternoon yesterday, municipal commissioner Abasaheb Jarhad said, “The unfortunate incident occurred on February 3 and we met CIDCO authorities the very next day, and requested them to provide us with spaces to set up transit camps. Presently, the residents have been provided accommodation at a nearby municipal school, but we are keen on providing them with appropriate housing.” It was also decided to allocate funds towards the project in the coming budget.

Meanwhile, CIDCO has also offered a few of its empty houses in the Unnati housing scheme in Ulwe to the homeless residents. But residents aren’t keen on them, as it is far from their children’s schools.
Satish Ramani, the local Shiv Sena corporator who lived in the same building, said, “The technical report of the structural audit is yet to come out and hence we cannot stay in our own homes. However, we don’t want to live far from the locality. We are looking out for rented accommodation.”

Commissioner Jarhad added that only after verification of the structural report would inhabitants be allowed to return to their dwellings, to avoid untoward incidents. Meanwhile, Shiv Sena corporators in the NMMC have offered one month’s worth of salaries for the rehabilitation of the residents. Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) corporators also suggested the same to Mayor Sagar Naik in the general body meeting.

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