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Residents told to vacate landslide-prone Netivli hills in Kalyan-Dombivli

Like all the other years, the KDMC has started serving notices to residents living in huts on the hill

mumbai Updated: Jun 15, 2018 01:03 IST
A few years ago, there were around 10 houses on Netivli hill; now, there are 3,000.(Rishikesh Choudhary/HT PHOTO)

The Kalyan-Dombivli Municipal Corporation (KDMC) has initiated precautionary measures for the landslide-prone areas in Netivli Tekdi, the only landslide-prone area in the city, after the twin city received pre-monsoon showers earlier this month. During monsoon, huge boulders come down tumbling on the houses, killing or injuring the residents. There are around 3,000 structures on the hill, housing 12,000 residents.

Like all the other years, the KDMC has started serving notices to residents living in huts on the hill. However, despite continuous warnings from officials, the adamant residents do not vacate the area, KDMC said.

“We have served notices to 100 families who are living in extremely dangerous condition. In the notice, we have asked them to find a safer place and relocate at the earliest. However, residents have not moved yet despite the warning. We will be serving notices to more residents in the coming days,” said Bhagaji Bhangare, ward officer, KDMC.

Netivli Tekdi has frequently witnessed several mishaps during the previous monsoon seasons.

“We conduct a survey of the hill every year before monsoon to check the condition of the hill. We highlight the dangerous parts of the hill to the residents who live there and convince them to find another place. But they avoid our directions,” added Bhangare.

Residents on the other hand, claimed that the civic body is neglecting their demand of providing them with an alternate residence.

“We had to live on this hill as we didn’t have any other option. The civic body sanctions several major housing projects but fails to provide us with small houses. We cannot leave the city and go elsewhere to find cheaper accommodation because we have been working here for the last several years,” said Usmaan Shaikh, 45, who lives on the hill with his family.

Below the hill, many small shops, garages, tea and food stalls have also cropped up. Most of these are run by those who live on the hill.

“I have been running a shop below the hill near Suchak naka in Kalyan (East) from the last 20 years, and it is my source of livelihood. If I have to shift to some new place, I won’t be able to afford a new shop there, considering the amount of rent charged could be higher than what I pay here,” said Sameer Patil, 34.

The civic body said that it cannot provide any alternative accommodation for the residents of the hill because they had occupied it illegally. But on a temporary basis, they can shift to the nearby civic schools.

“On a temporary basis, we have asked the residents to shift to nearby schools when it rains heavily in the city to avoid any mishap,” Bhangare said.

The Netivli hill is located opposite to the Kalyan metro junction mall and falls on the Suchak naka – Patripool stretch which sees continuous vehicular flow. Around 20 years ago, people from other cities started occupying the hill because they could not afford houses elsewhere in the city. With time, people who began occupying the hill began to multiply and the civic body failed in stopping them.

Most huts on the hill consist of single rooms, having weak slabs, which could easily collapse during a landslide. Every year during monsoon there is a possibility of landslide at this hill.

First Published: Jun 15, 2018 01:03 IST