Days after several people died due to the landslides in Chembur, Vikhroli and Bhandup, the Mumbai suburban district guardian minister, Aaditya Thackeray, who also holds the tourism and environment portfolios, chaired a meeting to review the relief and repair operations on Monday. At the meeting attended by the Mumbai suburban district collector and BMC assistant commissioners, Aaditya emphasized on the need to expedite all pending backlog of landslide protection walls and asked the administration to keep no request pending by 2022-23.
Aaditya said the district and civic body together have cleared maximum requests in 2020-21 and 2021-22. He directed the authorities to work on auditing vulnerability of the region and devise alternate plans for the same.
Further, Aaditya held a meeting with the BMC and discussed, at length, various issues like the current vaccination status, Madh-Versova bridge and ongoing works to increase capacity of storm-water drains in greater Mumbai.
As far as vaccination is concerned, Aaditya told FPJ, “As on July 27, 68,13,461 people have been inoculated, of which 51,99,062 have been administered the first dose and 16,14,399 second dose. We also reviewed the availability of vaccines and preparations for door-to-door vaccination drive. We are also working with private hospitals to vaccinate those living in slums.’’
Aaditya said they also discussed the progress of the proposed Madh-Versova bridge. “We discussed various works to increase the capacity of storm-water drains, pumping capacity and holding ponds in the face of climate change, especially the increased amount of rainfall,” he said.
Regarding the protection of mangroves, Aaditya said that the government has notified 9,800 hectares of mangroves as reserved forest under the Indian Forest Act. He further added that another 2,500 hectares will be notified soon. “We are doing this not only to protect mangroves, but also to ensure that Maharashtra grows sustainably,” he said.
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