Thursday, June 29, 2017

Landslide becomes threat for 59k lives: PMC report


PUNE: A detailed disaster management plan published in March 2016 says Pune Municipal Corporation is unprepared for a landslide or a mudslide in the hills surrounding the city.

If the 2014 tragedy of Malin in the district was any indicator, it is not difficult to imagine the magnitude of the damage. The same report states that at least 59,000 lives in the city are at risk from landslides.

Worse, the report terms the civic body unprepared for such a disaster, and only capable of responding to the damage. A report titled `Integrated Regional Disaster Management Plan for PMC', published in March 2016 has identified various threats to the city and estimated the type and scale of damage any disaster could result in.

According to the report, the geographical profile of Pune, saucer-like owing to the city being surrounded by hills, is highly vulnerable to landslides in some parts. In the summary of risk-analysis in the report, it has stated: "Bad construction practices on the hill slopes loosen the hilly terrain giving rise to a threat of landslides. The loss of life and property would be high in case of landslides."

Most vulnerable areas are where illegal constructions and illegal settlements are prominent. These unlawful developments are located on various hilltops and slopes of the city. A 2015 notification announced by chief minister Devendra Fadnavis bans any construction or development on hills and slopes of Pune.

These hill areas, collectively measuring 1,600 hectares, have been protected as Biodiversity Parks (BDPs).Of these areas, land measuring 978 hectares is privatelyowned and yet to be acquired by the civic body.


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