To avoid a repeat of last year’s landslide in Chembur and Vikhroli, in which 32 people were killed, the BMC and the Maharashtra Housing and Area Development Authority (MHADA) have assessed the vulnerability of landslide-prone areas across 24 civic wards in the city. A list of 74 vulnerable areas has been drafted and the civic body has decided to focus on immediate corrective measures. These spots are mostly in the eastern suburbs, in S-Ward (Bhandup), L-Ward (Kurla) and N-Ward (Ghatkopar).
Every monsoon, other than water-logging, landslide-prone areas have also kept the BMC on its toes. From 2013 to 2021, the city has witnessed 140 such incidents. Mumbai has 291 spots that are prone to landslides, most of them are in the eastern suburbs. These areas have been categorised into high, medium and low-risk spots, with estimates of the affected population in each area. The BMC had received a list of 1,200 spots given by local representatives, from which 74 spots were highlighted after a survey by the Geographical Survey of India (GIS). Among these, 47 spots are most dangerous and 25 spots are dangerous, said a BMC official.
The GIS has suggested some corrective measures to prevent disasters in these areas. Among these are ramping up the drainage, construction of retaining walls, planting of trees, strengthening the hillside, keeping ready temporary shelters for those who want to move out of their homes in case of warnings, a BMC official from the disaster management said. Kurla’s L- Ward has six such vulnerable landslide-prone areas where the BMC recently conducted a survey with MHADA officials.
Corrective measures have started at a few spots. Mohili village in Sakinaka, Kasai Wada Hill, Kureshi Nagar, Milind Nagar, LBS Marg in Sakinaka, Kurla West, Asalpha Hill are a few such spots, said L-Ward assistant municipal commissioner Manav Shinde. A retaining wall is being constructed in some landslide-prone areas. Also, people residing in vulnerable areas will be shifted to safer places. Other agencies like MHADA and the forest department have been told to take corrective measures, too, in their respective areas, said additional municipal commissioner Suresh Kakani.
61 died in two years…
In 2020, a retaining wall around the BMC’s Malad (East) reservoir, near Kurar village, collapsed and 29 slum-dwellers died in the landslide. In 2021, the city witnessed a landslide in Vikhroli, Bhandup and Chembur, in which 32 people died.