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State failed to rehabilitate them: activist

mumbai Updated: Jul 11, 2013 08:56 IST
Vaishnavi Vasudevan
Vaishnavi Vasudevan
Hindustan Times
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Maharashtra government has failed to prepare an action plan to rehabilitate residents living in hilly areas, alleged RTI activist Anil Galgali, who has been following the issue.

Chief minister Prithviraj Chavan in 2011 had ordered the urban development department to prepare an action plan for rehabilitation of residents in a bid to avoid any landslide accidents.

This instruction was given after the housing department in 2010 had prepared and submitted to the state government a survey report on the number of hutments and dangerous spots in the city.

“More than two years later, the state has not yet taken any steps,” said Galgali.

The survey conducted across 25-assembly constituencies in the city, western and eastern suburbs had revealed that 22,483 hutments in 327 hilly areas are dangerous and need to be shifted urgently.

In 49 dangerous spots located in the island city, out of 3,986 hutments in the city, 2,303 hutments should be shifted on urgent basis and 1,683 can be safeguarded by building retaining walls.

In the suburbs, total 278 spots are in danger and 7,354 need to be shifted from hillsides on an urgent basis.

“The chief minister, chief secretary JK Banthia and urban development department are responsible for the disaster in Wadala. Instead of spending crores of rupees constructing retaining walls, the state government should shift slumdwellers to vacant MMRDA and BMC tenements,” Galgali said.

Secretary of urban development department Manukumar Srivastav, and chief secretary JK Banthia was unavailable for comment despite several calls.