Civic body plans 'great walls along Tansa water pipeline' to stop encroachment
Civic body moves on to step 2 after demolishing slums along the pipelines, to erect protection walls in a bid to dissuade squatters from returning
For once, the civic body seems to be on the right track to see something reach its logical end. After demolishing slums along Tansa water pipelines in April-May, as per a 2009 HC order, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) is going to erect walls flanking both the pipelines in order to stop encroachers from returning.
Slums along the pipeline in Vidyavihar were demolished in May
It will spend Rs 73.8 crore collectively to build reinforced cement concrete (RCC) walls with barbed wire at a distance of 10 metres on both sides of the two main pipelines. And if all goes well, Mumbaikars will even get a cycling and jogging track along the pipelines, after they are secured.
BMC had started cracking down on illegal hutments after the Bombay High Court's order. After its action had slowed, the HC had pulled it up, setting a deadline for the work and asking the civic body to submit a progress report. In recent action, it demolished more than 300 shanties at Garib Nagar in Bandra East and has started removal of huts along the pipeline in Kurla.
Civic officials said over 10,000 shanties remained to be demolished along the 39-km pipelines, out of which 8,000-odd were eligible for rehabilitation. The proposal of constructing RCC walls in N ward (Ghatkopar), S ward (Bhandup), L ward (Kurla) and F-north (Mahim, Sion) will be tabled in the Standing Committee meeting today.
According to the proposal, BMC has awarded a contract of Rs 8.03 crore in N ward, Rs 7.26 crore in S ward, Rs 22.78 crore in F-north and Rs 35.73 crore in L ward for walls with fencing. Once approved, work will start immediately.
Work in progress
A senior civic official said, "Till now, we have razed 6,000-odd shanties along the pipelines. But there is a possibility of huts coming up there again, as there is no mechanism to secure the area. Hence, we decided to build the walls."
"Citing safety concerns over the pipelines, the court had directed that all structures within a radius of 10 metres be demolished. Our action is to that end. We will raze down the remaining structures soon," he added.
"Also, recently, Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis proposed a cycling and jogging track along the pipelines. The walls will also help us to create that. One part of Tansa pipeline passes from Ghatko-par to Sion, and the other from Mulund to Dharavi."
The Tansa water pipelines pass through Mulund, Bhandup, Sahar, Vakola, Khar East, Bandra East, Mahim, Dharavi, Ghatkopar, Kurla, Andheri East and Anik depot. Following the HC order on action against illegal hutments along the pipelines, BMC has managed to finish about 40 per cent of the work. The work is going on in four phases, of which phase I has been completed. While HC has ordered BMC to finish by October 31, it has sought extension till December 31, 2017, for phase II, and till June 30, 2018, for phases III and IV. As of now, it's finished building a wall along the pipeline in Andheri East.
Number of shanties yet to be demolished
Number of shanties razed down
Rs 73.8 cr
Amount BMC will spending on building the walls
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