This monsoon is likely to be extremely trying for residents of the Maharashtra Housing and Area Development Authority (Mhada) colony at Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel Nagar in Andheri (West).
Following a Supreme Court order, the BrihanMumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has demolished 2,770 illegal structures in the colony and residents are worried about their fate when annual showers begin.
“The BMC is ruthlessly demolishing all houses, knowing very well that it could soon rain. Rainwater will flood our house as the roof has been demolished. And who is responsible for clearing the debris left behind?” said Anjali Arora, a resident of Sai Dham society.
Residents also complained that in the wake of the demolition, loose wires are hanging from electric poles, which is causing electric shocks. “We are worried about our children; we cannot be with them all the time. Once it begins to rain, the current would spread through water and can lead to grave accidents,” said Yatindra Rawat, a colony resident.
“The BMC should have taken care of basic human safety will undertaking the demolition drive.”
However, the BMC refuses to shoulder the responsibility of clearing the area or ensuring residents’ safety. Ashok Khaire, deputy municipal commissioner (zone 4) said, “These structures were unauthorised so owners are responsible for clearing the mess. Actually, Mhada should be undertaking the demolition of unauthorised construction but since they paid the civic body Rs2.68 crore demolition charges, the BMC is doing it.”
Ramesh Pawar, assistant municipal commissioner, K-West ward said, “We are aware that the demolition would cause a lot of problems to residents during the monsoon. However, we have no option but to undertake the demolition as we have to submit the report to the Supreme Court and high court.”
HDIL, which is undertaking a redevelopment project in the area, refused to comment on the matter.
A HDIL spokesperson, on condition of anonymity said, “We have nothing to do with the demolition; it is carried out by the BMC.”
Another 1,300 unauthorised structures will be pulled down before June 5.