667 Mumbai families asked to evacuate dangerous buildings

June 8th, 2008 - 9:51 pm ICT by IANS  

Mumbai, June 8 (IANS) The Mumbai civic authorities have ordered 667 families living in dangerous buildings in different parts of the megapolis to evacuate their premises as the weather bureau warned of heavy rains in the 24 hours to Tuesday evening. The Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai (MCGM) also has identified 42 low lying, flood-prone areas and 58 other areas that are prone to landslides, especially around the hills of the Sanjay Gandhi National Park in the northern suburb of Borivali.

The authorities have said in the 42 flood-prone areas people must exercise caution during downpours and be more alert in the 58 areas where landslides can occur.

Municipal Commissioner Jairaj Pathak told reporters Sunday evening that the evacuation notices had been issued as the buildings could collapse during heavy rains.

Despite repeated pleas of the authorities, and the snapping of water and electricity supplies, the families have not yet moved out, prompting the evacuation orders, he added.

A majority of the dangerous buildings - 107 - are located in south-central Mumbai, Pathak said.

Pathak said that in the 24 hours till Sunday evening, Mumbai has received over 238 mm of rainfall and the suburbs 302 mm, nearly 10 percent of the season’s total.

Three people have lost their lives in rain-related incidents in and around Mumbai. One person was killed when a wall crashed on him in the central Dadar suburb Sunday morning.

In Mahad town of neighbouring Raigad district, two children - Sunil (5) and Gauri Kachre (1), were killed on the spot when a portion of a hill came crashing down on them Sunday afternoon.

More than 25 people have so far lost their lives in rain-related incidents all over Maharashtra.

The monsoon, which normally hits Mumbai June 10, set in four days earlier this year, catching the authorities and citizens unprepared.

For the past two days, Mumbaikars have been plagued by the usual monsoon ills - flooding in many areas, delays in commuter trains, massive traffic jams, uprooted trees, and incomplete civic and other infrastructure works.

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