The Antop Hill landslide of last week in which six people were killed notwithstanding,over 1,000 families continue to live in 260 landslide-prone areas across Mumbai even as the civic administration is flooded with complaints from affected residents. Residents said that they continue to live in such dangerous conditions due to lack of relief and rehabilitation policies.
BMC has asked residents in hilly areas like Mulund,Bhandup,Ghatkopar,Vikhroli and Wadala to vacate their homes. However,civic officials said despite repeated warnings and notices,families refuse to leave. Most have been given prior notices. But many refused to shift to temporary shelters and are demanding permanent housing, said N R Barde,assistant municipal commissioner,F-North ward.
At Ramabai Nagar,a landslide-prone area in Bhandup that witnessed a landslide last week,survivor Jyothi Patil (15) said,My parents,brother and I were fast asleep when our cat sensed something was wrong and knocked over a vessel. We could feel the pressure against the wall and rushed out. We stood in pouring rain and watched our home crumble, said the Std 10 student.
More than 250 families residing in Ramabai Nagar claimed that mismanagement of sewage lines caused accumulated water to seep through the walls,weakening the structure. The construction of houses in the hilly area forces residents to build houses one above the other,making sewage management difficult.
Drinking water pipes are lined next to gutters. It was due to build up of rainwater on the sloping gutter that the house fell, said 35-year-old Asha,a housewife.
Patils family,now homeless,is at the mercy of neighbours and friends who have been sheltering and feeding them in turns. Some officers came,looked at our destroyed home and went back. We have registered three complaints in the last six months,requesting authorities to construct better drainage system, she said.
At Antop Hill,Munnibai (42) lost her husband and son in the landslide. At 7 am,about two dozen huge rocks came loose,claiming six lives, said Shantabai Ahire,a survivor,who lost her family members.
More than six families that survived the Antop Hill landslide have moved into a shop belonging to a family from the neighborhood. Around 15 people are holed up inside a 180-sq ft shop,where they have been cooking and sleeping for the last four days. Neighbours have been supplying us with groceries,while no help has come from the government. A minister visited us around 11 am on Friday. He promised us that he would call us at 3 pm. Two days have passed and no help has come, said Reshma Salim Khan,a resident.