Malad Wall Collapse: Disaster-affected villagers to be shifted to Mahul

Updated: Jul 05, 2019, 07:28 IST | Chetna Yerunkar

The BMC says it does not have houses in Malad to accommodate disaster-hit Kurar villagers

Malad Wall Collapse: Disaster-affected villagers to be shifted to Mahul
Part of the wall being demolished at Malad. Pics/Satej Shinde

From fresh air to gas chamber, is the fate of the residents of the disaster-hit Kurar village at Malad. With no option of rehabilitating the families affected by the wall collapse anywhere near their current address, Mahul is where the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) will shift them. The move comes close on the heels of mid-day's report on Thursday about the Forest Department and BMC passing the buck over temporary rehabilitation for them. mid-day has done reports on the air pollution in Mahul before.

Shifting the affected to Mahul

BMC and forest officials visited the hutments close to the dangerous wall on Wednesday. The Forest Department wanted the BMC to give temporary housing to the residents within the periphery of 20 metres of the boundary wall which runs along almost for 2 kms. But the BMC officials have not been given any data to make these arrangements. They had said they did not have houses in Malad to accommodate the residents. According to the biometric data available with the FD, there were 3,009 hutments at Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar Nagar and over 800 hutments at Pimpripada. The FD has asked the agency to go to the spot and check how many of these houses were affected by the landslide and wall collapse. This data will be given to the BMC.

Residents try to salvage some belongings
Residents try to salvage some belongings

While the BMC will now only rehabilitate the affected residents of the locations where the wall collapsed killing 26 and injuring over a hundred, the lack of geo-tagged data (on the number and location of houses there) has become a hurdle in this. But after receiving instructions from higher authorities, BMC officials have started preparations to move them to Mahul. They have asked the tehsildars carrying out the panchanama at the spot to gauge the numbers of residents and send them at the earliest.

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Also read: BMC appoints team of experts to probe Malad wall collapse

The ward committee chairman, Vinod Mishra, has written to the BMC commissioner asking for alternative accommodation for these displaced residents and demanded action against the contractor who constructed the boundary wall of the Malad reservoir which collapsed. A senior civic official said, "Once the ward office gets the data from the Forest Department, the residents will be shifted to Mahul, as there is no accommodation available in Malad." Assistant Municipal Commissioner Sanjog Kabare who will be in charge of shifting them was unavailable for comment.

Search operations continue

The rescue and search operations continued by Fire Department officials for the fourth night in a row on Thursday. The BMC has demolished the dangerous portions of the boundary wall and claimed to minimise any future risks with this. The BMC has also appointed a committee on Thursday that includes VJTI and IIT professors along with a senior MMRDA official and an ex-employee, to investigate the reason of collapse and they have been given 15 days to carry out their investigation, revealed sources. Ashok Tawadia, Chief Hydraulic Engineer confirmed that a committee has been formed.

Also read: Forest Department, BMC pass the buck over temporary rehabilitation for Malad victims

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