Malin survivors who lost everything during the July, 2014 devastating landslide were given a fresh start on Sunday with chief minister Devendra Fadnavis presenting them with new houses built by the government.
However, many were teary-eyed as they left their temporary homes where they had spent two and half years after the tragedy struck.
It was this place where many survivors rebuilt their lives.
According to the villagers, around 25 of them got married among them some remarried after they lost their spouses in the landslide.
On July 30, last year, torrential rain triggered a landslide early in the morning at Malin village in Pune district. A chunk of the hillside gave way, sending mud, rocks and trees cascading down on the village, killing 151 people.
The tragedy prompted massive rescue operations for eight days, with the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) working day and night.
Around 30 months later, the district administration has recreated an entirely new village where survivors shifted after a small ceremony. The 67 houses built on eight acres of plot by the government are a few kilometers away from the site that witnessed the landslide.
Among the survivors who started their life afresh are Dilip Lembhe and Sunil Zanzare.
Lembhe, 47, had lost his wife, mother and two children in the landslide while Zanzare, 37, lost his entire family including his wife.
Zanzare married Asha from Ahmednagar district while Lembhe, who was reluctant at first to remarry, married one Manisha from Tambe village.
“It would have been difficult to stay alone for the rest of the life after losing everyone from the family,” said Zanzare.
In most cases, the men escaped the death as they had gone to inspect their crop when the tragedy struck.
Those who lost their kin got substantial financial help from the government. For every deceased person, compensation up to Rs 8.5 lakh was given.
While the village has got a new address, the villagers say it is difficult for them to forget the past.
“We are all starting a new life. However, the old memories are still afresh in our minds,” said Raju Zanzare, who lost his parents.
The new house built for each family is 425 square feet in area and stands on 1,500 square feet plot at Amade, around eight kilometers from the actual site of mudslide.
Besides houses, the administration has built a community hall, a Gram Panchayat office and a bus stop.
The school building, which was the only sign of survival during the tragedy, has been rebuilt at the same place.