Malad wall collapse: Three weeks on, nowhere to go for the surviving families

Updated: Jul 22, 2019, 07:31 IST | Dipali Kirpalani

BMC is yet to relocate and rehabilitate scores of surviving families from the Malad shanty over which a wall collapsed

Malad wall collapse: Three weeks on, nowhere to go for the surviving families
Following the wall collapse, 42 families continue to reside at Pimpripada, awaiting accommodation

While it has been close to 20 days since the wall collapse at Pimpripada and Ambedkar Nagar in Malad East, the survivors, many of whom have lost their homes and loved ones, continue to live in misery. The authorities responsible for rehabilitating them only keep passing the buck to each other. The residents want to be shifted somewhere nearby, but the BMC is providing them with accommodation in the notoriously uninhabitable Mahul.

The families do not want to move to Mahul. Ambedkar Nagar resident Aman Gupta said, "We got to know that would be relocated to Mahul, but none of us want to go there. However, my mother said that the people conducting the survey told her that we might be shifted to Appa Pada." Along with Gupta's family, the Dushad family, currently residing in a tarpaulin house, are hoping to receive accommodation nearby.

Uday Bhan Singh Yadav and his family reside at their ravaged home during the day and move into their neighbour’s home at night. Pics/Datta Kumbhar, Satej Shinde
Uday Bhan Singh Yadav and his family reside at their ravaged home during the day and move into their neighbour’s home at night. Pics/Datta Kumbhar, Satej Shinde

Another resident, Ankita Ravi Paithane, and her family have moved into her parents' home in Ambedkar Nagar. She said, "The people from the forest department (FD) came to visit us for the survey and said they might shift our family to Kandivli, where 95 rooms are available."

The living conditions have temporarily separated Ankita's family. Her brother-in-law Rahul, whose six-year-old daughter Seema died in the mishap, received Rs 4 lakh as compensation. He and his wife Shanta — who was discharged from the hospital on Saturday — have moved to Nashik for now because they don't know when they will be relocated.

While authorities pass the buck to each other, families at Pimpripada continue to live in misery
While authorities pass the buck to each other, families at Pimpripada continue to live in misery

At the neighbour's
Several others have found shelter at their neighbours' homes. Among them is Munni Gor, whose brother Shravan died in the collapse. She and her family reside in a tarpaulin-roofed home during the day and move into their neighbour's home at night.

As does resident Sunil Sakpal, who lost his daughter Sonali in the accident. Her body was found in a nullah at Versova. He has received Rs 4 lakh compensation from the government and Rs 5,000 from the tahsildar.

Prabhavati Yadav and her family are staying at their neighbour's house at night. Pics/Datta Kumbhar
Prabhavati Yadav and her family are staying at their neighbour's house at night. Pics/Datta Kumbhar

At Pimpripada, Prabhavati Yadav, resident taking shelter at her neighbours' at night said, "If we rent a one-room-kitchen, we will have to pay R30,000 as deposit, excluding the electricity and water bill. We don't have any money right now, so we are living at our neighbour's home." Prabhavati's husband Uday said if nothing works out for them in a year, they will be moving back to their village in Uttar Pradesh.

Also read: Malad wall collapse victims got no warning from BMC, say report

Passing the buck
BMC and FD, meanwhile, continue to pass the buck to each other. Speaking to mid-day, assistant commissioner of P north ward, Sanjog Kabare said, "This work has to be done by FD but because they don't have any accommodation available, they have approached BMC to provide them with houses. As of now, we have space for 100 tenants available at Mahul, but for information about the rest, ask FD."

None of the FD officials are aware of the total number of families affected. An official from the department confirmed that currently, they have been provided with space for 100 tenants at Mahul, but that decision has not been finalised yet.

Assistant conservator of forest of SGNP, D J Singh said, "[Currently] there are 42 families at Pimpripada. We are working on [providing accommodation] but because most of the families are out town, it will take a day or two. BMC has provided us with space for 100 tenants at Mahul but most families are not willing to go there; they will respond to us on Monday."

Also read: Officials planning to relocate Malad wall collapse victims; locals refuse

A source from SGNP said they have requested the Slum Rehabilitation Authority (SRA) to provide them with tenements at a nearby area, but haven't received any response from them so far.

31
Total death toll from the wall collapse incident

42
No. of families currently residing at Pimpripada

Also read: BMC coporator: Blacklisted contractor built collapsed wall in Malad

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