iconimg Friday, September 04, 2015

HT Correspondent , Hindustan Times
Mumbai, May 19, 2013
Of the 28 wards in the city, the civic body has identified the one in Kurla (L ward) to be the most prone to monsoon misery this year as it has 15 flooding zones, 15 landslide spots and 89 dilapidated buildings.

In a recent survey, the Brihamumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) found 222 flooding areas, 263 landslide-prone spots, 959 dilapidated buildings and 71 seafront settlements across Mumbai. The number of landslide-prone areas has increased drastically from 178 last year.

Next on the list, which has been compiled by BMCs disaster management cell, is Ghatkopar (N ward), with eight flooding spots, 27 landslide-prone areas and 50 dilapidated buildings.

That the situation in Kurla has not improved even marginally since last year shows no effort has been made to ensure better monsoon preparedness. Kurla-based activist Jitendra Gupta said, “Nullahs in the area are shoddily cleaned, which is one of the main reasons for water-logging. Retaining walls alongside Mithi river have not been built.”

The residents rue the civic body’s apathy. “We are tired of the monsoon chaos every year. The corporation has done nothing more than surveying the wards,” said Priyanka Mane, a local resident.

According to the survey, the maximum number of dilapidated buildings are in the island city — 94 in Dongri and Pydhonie (B ward) and 90 buildings in Byculla (E ward).

In Bhandup–Kanjurmarg (S ward), 148 landslide spots, the maximum in a ward, have been identified. Last year, there were only 49 landslide spots in this area. Activists blame the alarming rise in illegal settlements on hilly areas.

“Due to strong political support and high level of corruption, the encroachers are not evicted from the hilly areas that are prone to landslides,” said Gupta.

“Warnings are sent to the concerned wards to make arrangements and prepare for monsoon. The most vulnerable wards will be given more attention in terms of preparedness,” said Mahesh Narvekar, chief officer, disaster management cell.