Who should be blamed for Bandra pipeline burst deaths?

Jul 08, 2017, 19:35 IST | A Correspondent

The illegal slums are a risky home, but the BMC's negligence in failing to follow the HC order could be a potential problem

Pic/Nimesh Dave
Pic/Nimesh Dave

The Indira Nagar disaster of two kids dying after a 72-inch Tansa pipeline burst near their shanty, has been a tragedy eight years in the making. At 10.45 am, the pipeline burst and a 10-year-old girl perished with her 8-month-old sibling when waters flooded their house in a span of minutes.

HC order neglected
The British-era pipeline has been getting rusty over the years, but a 2009 high court order, directing the illegal encroachments in-and-around 10 metres of the line to be demolished and create a buffer zone by constructing compound walls, has yet to be implemented. While there is a drive being carried out by several ward officers in the city, the H east ward is still surveying and has not made much headway.

No demolition yet
A civic official on condition of anonymity said, "The water supply in the city will not be affected, but following this incident, no demolition of the encroachments is being planned as yet on humanitarian grounds and because it is monsoon." There are around 250 shanties spread across 1.5-km area that are proposed to be demolished.

Ramesh Bambale, deputy municipal commissioner of water department, said, "The encroachment clearing will be taken care of by the ward office. However, the work of repairing the pipeline is being carried out by the water department."

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