Death by Garbage: Man dies under weight of waste in Kurla
Piled up refuse from neighbouring high rises brings down roof of old chawl in Kurla in Mumbai, killing 48-year-old; his mother has miraculous escape
The roof that shelters ended up taking the life of a 48-year-old man when it came crashing down on him owing to the pressure of mounds of garbage over it. Abdul Rashid Qureshi, a resident of Pathan Chawl in Kurla's Qureshi Nagar allegedly suffocated to death under the pile of garbage that caused the roof to collapse over him. His 65-year-old mother, however, survived with minor injuries.
Residents from houses built on the hill throw garbage from their homes, onto the roofs of the ones located below them. Many structures here have developed cracks due to the weight of the garbage even as the BMC continues to be a silent spectator awaiting a disaster.
Sadiya Bale, resident of Pathan Chawl, on Wednesday complained to the police regarding the garbage dumping issue. Pics/Sayyed Sameer Bedi
Qureshi and his mother Rahemadi were having their breakfast when the roof of their one-room chawl fell on them. According to initial police investigation, Qureshi suffocated to death before he could be pulled out and was declared dead when taken to Sion hospital. His mother has sustained injuries to her hands and legs and survived to tell the tale of garbage that killed her son.
"I have been living with my son in this rented space for around two years. I have asked the neighbours on several occasions not to throw garbage on our roof. We have also had fights over this but to no avail. Our roof had developed cracks because of the pressure of the garbage but I didn't know that one day it would kill my son," said the grieving mother, adding that the BMC doesn't ever clean garbage from the chawls.
Mounds of garbage accumulated around Pathan chawl
The entire chawl is located on a hill with many illegal structures built around it. Residents alleged that it is one of the most neglected areas under the BMC. People continue to live among the garbage piles, inviting severe health hazards.
Sayed Imtiaz Ali, 52, said, "We live like insects amongst the garbage. There is no light at night so you can imagine how we walk along the undulating path in the dark. During the election, we are promised that they would install street lights but it never happens." "Despite complaining to the BMC, no one ever comes here to collect the garbage," he added.
Most of the people in the chawl suffer from breathlessness due to the stench of the garbage. Sadiya Bale, another resident, said, "My mother-in-law is 82 years old and has asthma. She cannot even open the windows to our house as she starts complaining of breathlessness the moment she breathes in the toxic air." Bale also doesn't allow her two children to play outside because of the unhygienic conditions here. Despite repeated calls, Ward Officer Manish Valanju of BMC's L Ward did not respond.
Buildings nearby from where garbage is flung
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