Mumbai fear monsoon will hose down slums

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Mumbai, June 1 (ANI): Even as monsoon is awaited with bated breath by the farmers across the country, the slum dwellers in Maharashtra are concerned.

They are anxious that heavy downpour during monsoon may hose their dwellings down.

Water on the rooftops weaken the bases of the homes and often triggers collapse of the buildings. Slums are shanties and can be washed away by gusty currents of water. It also claims several lives.

"Every year during monsoon we are scared that we might fall anytime during heavy downpour, as the condition of hill on which we live is bad. We tried several time Maharashtra Housing and Development Authority (MHDA) and state government to help us. And we went to local corporate worker as well but no work has been done till now. Every time engineers came and went but nothing has been done yet," said Ravi Sonari Ansari, resident of slum area.

Hareesh Chandan Shukla, a municipal officer informed that residents staying below hills have been asked to move away for a while as they would definitely fall in heavy downpour.

"Everyone who is leaving below these small hills has been told to move for some time. We have told them why they want to die below the hills. Because these hills are in such a position that if rain comes the way it did on 25 July 2005 then there are 101 percent chances that they will fall," said Shukla.

Residents and municipality officer said that a safety wall on the hills should be made to avoid any untoward incident but so far nothing has been done yet.

Aarif Naseem Khan, minister of state, Maharashtra said that a permanent solution should be found for this problem.

"A proper martial plan should be prepared regarding this problem. A committee should be formed for this problem and through this committee itself the decisions regarding rehabilitation of people should be taken. And its permanent solution should be arrived at for this problem," said Khan.

Khan said that building a safety wall would not be a favourable solution. Monsoons in Mumbai are a nightmare, when the city is inundated with rainwater and normal city life is thrown completely out of gear. (ANI)

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