One of the families whose belongings were washed away after the water pipeline burst. Pics/Datta Kumbhar
Three days after the tragedy struck, slumdwellers of Indira Nagar, at Bandra East, are trying to put their lives back on track by gathering their meagre belongings that were washed away after the water pipeline burst. They are upset that no politician has turned up to provide relief.
Some residents are still trying to find and recover their belongings
A 72-inch British era pipeline had burst on Friday morning at Indira Nagar, leaving two children including a nine-month infant dead, and at least 100 huts completely flooded.
Angry residents alleged that no politician or authority has come forward to help them since the incident. Poonam Doiphode, who lost two of her children in the pipe burst said, "Not a single politician turned up to support us. During the elections they come for votes, but now they are ignoring us. It is locals who have come forward to help us."
Volunteers of Naupada Qabristan Masjid have been providing meals to the affected residents of Indira Nagar
She added, "Some people attached to a masjid trust have arranged for food and milk for my other two children."
No home, no future?
The pipeline burst has also rendered the Doiphode family homeless. The future of their two other children - Vignesh (5) and Neha (11) - is also in doubt. "Neha's books, school uniform, everything was washed away. I don't know how I will send her to school again," said Santosh Doiphode.
Mohammad Shafiq Khan (53), another resident, said that even two days after the incident, they were searching for their belongings in the garbage accumulated in the surrounding areas due to the force of water. "After the water receded we started searching for our belongings. A few clothes were flung onto trees due to the force of the water."
Residents said had it been night, the tragedy would have assumed greater proportions.
Some of them alleged that authorities are spreading false information that the slum is illegal and they have been served notices. "Our slum is legal and the civic body has not issued any notice to evict us. Everyone is spreading lies about us," said another resident, Mohammad Harun Rashid Munshi.
"Many people have alleged that our slum is illegal, which is not true. We have been staying here since more than 20 years," added Poonam Doiphode.
Speaking on the pipeline burst, local Shiv Sena corporator Halim Khan admitted that the government is not providing help. He said, "I have demanded a compensation of `5 lakh each for the family of the deceased. I have also written to the Municipal Commissioner. I have also given the residents cloth and materials to set up sheds as their houses. But no help is being provided by the government authorities."
Yesterday, a leakage was observed in the pipeline at Behrampada in Bandra East. Residents have alleged that despite several complaints, no repair work is carried out on the pipeline.
Volunteers from Naupada Qabristan Masjid and Masjid-e-Ayesha have been providing food to those affected by the pipeline burst since the day it happened. They have also set up a kitchen there and provide breakfast, lunch and dinner to almost 300 people. One of them, Akhtar who is an autorickshaw driver, and his friend Sajid Shaikh, have taken the initiative to help them. When mid-day asked them about their arrangement, one of them said, "We consider humanity the biggest religion. These people have lost everything, so we thought we could help them at least with food."
Number of children who drowned after the pipeline burst
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