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Tuesday, September 28, 2021

Landslip warning issued for Mumbai’s S ward, over 121 locals on alert

The notice, issued on Friday, said the area is prone to disasters like landslide and collapse of retention walls and houses.

Written by Sanjana Bhalerao | Mumbai |
Updated: July 25, 2021 7:51:15 am
Rescue workers search for survivors after a residential house collapsed due to landslide caused by heavy rainfall in Mumbai, (Photo: REUTERS/Niharika Kulkarni)

Days after over 32 people lost their lives in two landslides in the eastern suburbs of Mumbai, S ward (Powai, Vikhroli) of the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), which has the highest number of landslide-prone areas in the city, has issued a warning to over 121 residents of Jai Bhim Nagar in Powai.

The notice, issued on Friday, said the area is prone to disasters like landslide and collapse of retention walls and houses. It has asked the locals to move to a safer location till the end of monsoon. The notice added that in case of an untoward accident, the BMC could not be held responsible.

Every year ahead of monsoon, as per the BMC’s disaster management cell protocol, each ward prepares a list of landslide-prone areas, waterlogging spots and dilapidated buildings. The district disaster management plan for S ward – comprising Bhandup, Vikhroli, Kanjurmarg and parts of Powai – has 152 disaster-prone spots listed, the maximum in Mumbai.

“Once the list is ready, each ward starts issuing warnings to those living in slums on the hilly sides, marked as landslide-prone areas. They are usually asked to move to safer places till the end of monsoon,” said an official from the local ward office.

Following the landslide in Vikhroli, where 10 residents of a hillock died, the civic body sent out notices to all the disaster-prone areas in the ward.

Pawan Pal, a local activist, said the situation is serious. “During heavy rainfall, the residents fear that a disaster will strike the area. The BMC cannot ask us to relocate every year for four months and not take responsibility for those living in these areas. This is not a solution.”

Activist Anil Galgali said over 22,000 people live in such landslide-prone areas across the city.

According to a disaster management report, there are 291 landslide-prone areas in the city. While S ward has the highest number of such areas at 152, it is followed by 32 in N ward (Ghatkopar, Asalpha), 18 in L ward (Kurla, Sakinaka) and 16 in D ward (Malabar Hill, Grant Road).

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