As monsoon has finally hit the city,the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has identified 178 landslide prone areas in eastern suburbs and parts of western suburbs,of which 23 slum areas along hillocks have been tagged extremely dangerous and unsafe for human habitation during monsoon.
People living in more than 3,000 individual hutments,that have come up along hillocks in Kurla,Ghatkopar,Bhandup,Mulund,Chembur and Dahisar,were given notices by the BMC asking them to evacuate their homes and shift to a safer place before the onset of monsoon.
Some of the chronic spots that have witnessed fatal landslides in the past include Saki Naka Khadi No.3,Bhandarwada,Lal Dongar area in Chembur,Parksite in Vikhroli,LBS Nagar in Saki Naka etc.
Due to space crunch in the city,hutments have cropped up over the years along the slopes of small hills and hillocks primarily in the eastern suburbs and parts of western suburbs.
Fatal landslides due to heavy rainfall in these areas are known to result in casualties every monsoon.
A landslide in the LBS Nagar in Saki Naka in September 2009 had killed 12 people and injured 15.
In the same area,a huge landslide triggered by heavy rain had killed over 70 people in 2005.
A senior civic official,in charge of the L,M east,M west,N,S and T wards,said the most that the civic body can do is to warn these people about the impending danger.
Apart from individual notices we also put up huge boards in the locality stating that the area is vulnerable to landslides and people should immediately relocate. However,these are poor families who do not have an option but to continue staying in these areas. We cannot forcibly evacuate anybody from the structures that have come up prior to 1995, said the official.
Municipal Commissioner Sitaram Kunte said the landslide prone areas are not only on BMC owned land but also on private land,collectors land,state government land and MHADA land.
We have issued notices to those families that are staying on the BMC land. It is the responsibility of the individual land owning authorities to issue notices to slums that have come up on their land, he said.
A total of 149 BMC schools have been identified as shelters to temporarily rehabilitate those who could be affected by landslide. In addition to the notices,the MHADA was handed over the task of constructing and retaining walls along dangerous slopes but civic officials said in many places the work is yet to be completed.