Mumbai: Cyclone devastates lives of residents of Kurar village

For more than two decades, people living at Pimpripada and Ambedkar Nagar in Kurar village in Malad east have been awaiting rehabilitation from the state government. For those living in the area, monsoon season is nothing but a test of faith.

After cyclone Tauktae had hit the city during the intervening night of Sunday and Monday, high speed winds started to blow. Fearing another catastrophe, most of the residents ran out of their huts and shanties and took shelter in open grounds. A local resident Anish Yadav, who has been staying here since 1995, said that after the storm intensified trees started to fall and destroyed their huts.

"All of us ran out of our huts and stood on the open grounds. We were in a small group of 20-25 people and waited there throughout the night," said Anish Yadav, a resident of Ambedkarnagar, who has been living here since 1995.

"After the storm intensified during the morning, the trees started to fall, in front of our eyes three huts got completely crushed," Yadav added.

Another resident Shraddha Kadam has her hut partially damaged due to the cyclone. After the storm broke out, Kadam along with seven other members of her family ran out of huts. Kadam said the intensity of the winds were so heavy that the plastic roofing of their hut got blown away.

"Every year, during the monsoon, we live in fear wondering when our last night will be. Since the past few years so many people are dying during the rains and we have been pleading for rehabilitation ever since," Kadam told FPJ.

Another resident Ankita Jadhav, who lost all their property after a tree fell on their hut said that despite knowing everything, the authorities didn't take any step towards their rehabilitation.

After the storm receded, the local residents who had their huts damaged were shifted to a local school by NGO workers.

Earlier in 2019, as many as 31 people lost their lives after the wall of a water reservoir came down crushing in Pimpripada. Back in 1997, the Bombay High Court had ordered the then state government to rehabilitate the slum dwellers. Activist and social worker - Bilal Khan said that most of the residents have paid their rehabilitation fees, but the state is yet to take a measure.

"The village is located on the hills of an elevated land which is why the risk of heavy flooding is more. It has been more than 20 years since the court gave its orders but the government is yet to take any action while these people continue to suffer," said Khan.

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