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Sudden showers flood slum near Swargate depot

Water from a nearby canal gushed into hutments, turned pathways into streams at Sonia Gandhi Nagar, forcing residents to flee from their houses

Sudden showers that lashed the city in the afternoon yesterday caught citizens unaware, with the most affected area being the slum area near Swargate bus depot.

Residents of Sonia Gandhi Nagar were forced to abandon their tin-shed homes after falling tree branches wrecked their houses. Adding to their woes, water from an overflowing canal adjacent to their homes gushed in, washing away their belongings.

Scrambling for cover: Residents of Sonia Gandhi Nagar near Swargate depot were forced to run for cover after falling tree branches and water from the overflowing canal wrecked their houses during the brief showers yesterday. Pics/Dheeraj Bengrut

Heavy rains hit the city around 1 pm, after which the the canal swelled and water began flowing through the houses.

The colony, which has 300 tenements with over 1,000 residents, bore the brunt of the sudden showers with several residents pointing fingers at the civic body. Most of the people living here are labourers working at construction sites, while some are hawkers plying their wares on the street.

“We were about to have our lunch when the roof started leaking. A loud thud alerted us and we rushed out of our house to find that a tree branch had fallen on our roof. Following the incident, my family members, including my aged mother, wife and two small kids had to sit out in the rain with our belongings, ” said Ramesh Lala Parmar, a resident of the area.

Dayan Kasar, another resident, said, “The rain was so heavy that within half-an hour the canal was full and water started entering our houses. We started running out from the houses, carrying our possessions and children. This happens every year during the monsoon and despite our repeated complaints, the Pune Municipal Corporation
has done nothing to solve the problem.”

Floating away
After the rains stopped, vehicles, gas cylinders and household items like clothes and utensils were seen floating in the water.

“It’s only the start of the rains and we still have the entire rainy season to go. Our family members are forced to make their way to the bus depot and take shelter in buses when water enters our houses,” said resident Vivek Jadhav.

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