Mumbai: Thane civic body chalks out plan to demolish shanties on Parsik tunnel | mumbai news | Hindustan Times
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Mumbai: Thane civic body chalks out plan to demolish shanties on Parsik tunnel

Mumbai city news: A year ago, the retaining wall on the hillock above the Parsik tunnel collapsed. The debris fell on the railway track, disrupting the train services

mumbai Updated: Jun 24, 2017 15:47 IST
Megha Pol
After months of blame game and shirking responsibility, officials from the district, forest, railways and TMC have joined hands to make the tunnel free of encroachments.
After months of blame game and shirking responsibility, officials from the district, forest, railways and TMC have joined hands to make the tunnel free of encroachments.(Praful Gangurde)

Two days after the Bombay high court rapped the railways and the Thane Municipal Corporation for failing to protect the Parsik tunnel, authorities have chalked out a plan to demolish the illegal hutments on the hill.

After months of blame game and shirking responsibility, officials from the district, forest, railways and TMC have joined hands to make the tunnel free of encroachments. The officials said residents would be rehabilitated.

Sandeep Malvi, public relations officer of TMC, said, “The hillock on top of Parsik tunnel comes under the jurisdiction of the railways and the forest authorities. Over the years, people have encroached the hill by building houses and shops. The sewage water of the settlements has been flowing into the track below.”

This area is prone to landslides in the monsoon.

A year ago, the retaining wall on the hillock above the Parsik tunnel collapsed. The debris fell on the railway track, disrupting the train services. Fortunately, no train was passing below the tunnel and a major disaster was averted.

The tunnel cuts right through Parsik hill and is an important link for the Central Railway’s suburban and long distance lines.

The forest department and TMC had tried to demolish the hutments but the slum dwellers had approached the high court which stayed the eviction notice. The high court asked the Thane civic body to first work out a rehabilitation scheme for the hutment dwellers.

On Friday, civic commissioner Sanjeev Jaiswal met district, forest and railway officials at the TMC headquarters to find solution to the problem.

Malvi said, “The action plan will include making a list of encroachers by surveying the area and making list of residents who are eligible for rehabilitation. Immediate arrangements would be made for police protection so that the area can be cleared within 72 hours of undertaking the demolition drive.”

A notice will be served to vacate the homes and a joint demolition drive will be undertaking by the TMC, forest and railway authorities against those who fail to evacuate even after the end of the notice period. “A rehabilitation policy will also be drafted,” said Malvi.

Deputy conservator of forest J Ramgaonkar said, “The demolition is stuck owing to the stay given by the court. Our efforts are on to vacate the stay as there is a threat to the life of people living on the tunnel. The court had stated that the demolition can be done by rehabilitating the residents and we are working towards it.”