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City of disasters? 987 deaths recorded in 6 years in Mumbai according to RTI

According to the data, there has been no consistent decrease in the number of disasters in the past five years

mumbai Updated: Aug 26, 2018 23:51 IST
Steffy Thevar
Steffy Thevar
Hindustan Times
Spot where the tree fall incident happen in which Dinesh Sangle died at Dadar in Mumbai, India, on Friday, April 20, 2018(HT Photo)

A Right To Information (RTI) reply by the civic body’s disaster cell has revealed that Mumbai witnessed as many as 49,179 incidents that have caused death or injury to locals in the last six years. Of the total number, maximum, at around 21,452 were related to tree fall cases, while 20,074 were due to fires, and short circuits. Since 2013, as many as 987 people have died due to such incidents.

The RTI, filed by activist Shakeel Ahmed Shaikh, lists data of such incidents spanning six years starting from 2013.

The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation’s (BMC) response could throw a spanner in works of the Union government which recently released a liveability survey that places Mumbai among the top three liveable cities in the country.

The data given by the disaster cell and compiled from 2013 until July 2018 states that the most number of deaths, at around 328, was due to people falling in manholes, nullahs, rivers, wells, creeks or drowning at sea. This was followed by 234 deaths due to house or wall collapse incidents. Nearly 208 deaths were registered due to fire or short circuit cases.

The records account for 85 deaths due to people being trapped, 30 deaths in tree fall incidents, and 22 deaths due to road oil spills. Least number of deaths was recorded due to gas leakage or landslide which both stood at 7, each. Accidents which did not fit in the other categories were responsible in total for 66 deaths.

“In the last six years, there have been 987 deaths due to various disasters. These many people were not killed even in a terrorist attack lately. About 328 deaths have occurred only due to people falling into manholes, nullahs or drowning in the sea. With such a high number of deaths in incidents that are avoidable, how can the city be termed most liveable?” said Shaikh.

Mahesh Narvekar, director, disaster management cell, however, said that the data represented complaints and did not necessarily reflect the on-ground numbers. “These are calls which do not necessarily mean that these many incidents took place in the city. For example, if there is flooding at Hindmata, then we receive about a 100 calls for the same incident. However, the incident is only one.”

Contrary to Narvekar’s explanation of the numbers, the RTI reply mentions that there were 49, 179 recorded incidents and not ‘calls’ recorded by disaster cell since 2013.

First Published: Aug 26, 2018 23:51 IST