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HindustanTimes Fri,19 Sep 2014

Geologists visit Malin as landslide toll hits 101

HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times  Pune, August 04, 2014
First Published: 02:46 IST(4/8/2014) | Last Updated: 02:50 IST(4/8/2014)

Geologists visited Malin on Sunday, hinting that excessive rain appears to be responsible for the landslide tragedy in the village in Pune district.

Led by Geological Survey of India director general Harbans Singh, the team took stock of the ground realities and spoke to locals.

Later, talking to mediapersons, Singh said, "The village is situated over stiff hill slope. Under such circumstances, if there is heavy rain, there are chances of debris coming down."

According to Singh, his team will submit the report within 15-20 days in which detailed reasons will be given about the causes behind the landslide.

Blaming the state agriculture department for being responsible for the landslide, local activist Suresh Talekar had filed a complaint against officials at Ghodegaon police station, saying the government-sponsored 'Padkai' scheme was responsible for the landslide.
 
Activist Suresh Talekar, in his complaint, alleged that officials deployed earthmoving machines to level the land. As the heavy rains caused water percolation, it loosened soil while the leveling of the land made matters worse triggering the landslides.

Meanwhile, the NDRF team extricated a few more bodies on Sunday, taking the death toll to 101. The district administration fears that 66 bodies are still trapped under debris. As the rain relented throughout the day, rescuers expedited their operations while deploying additional JCB machines to dig out slush.
 
Scared of the repeat of a landslide-like incident, survivors in Malin have requested the administration to relocate them elsewhere.

"There is no point staying here anymore. Everything has been destroyed while the danger of yet another landslide still looms over our village," said a lady in her 70s.


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