HindustanTimes Sat,20 Dec 2014

Pune tragedy: Chavan says focus is on saving maximum lives

HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times  Mumbai, July 30, 2014
First Published: 22:41 IST(30/7/2014) | Last Updated: 22:48 IST(30/7/2014)

Chief minister Prithviraj Chavan, who rushed to Malin village after hearing the news of the landslide said that the state government would compensate all the families and if required even rehabilitate the entire village.

Chavan said that the primary focus of the state administration and the disaster force was to try and save as many lives as possible. "With nearly 250 NDRF personnel on the site, the rescue operations are going on with trained personnel and there is a possibility of rescuing more people alive, so we are going about it slowly. 8 people were pulled out alive today," Chavan told HT.

There are 158 people still feared trapped under the debris. "We have got floodlights and rescue operations will continue through the night and for the next 2 days."

He said that it would be too premature to speculate over reasons for the landslide. There has been speculation that forest land had been reclaimed here.

CM said that compensation would not be an issue and villager whose entire families have been wiped out would be taken care off. He however cautioned against disaster tourism pointing out that road to Malin got jammed with people from adjoining areas out of good will or curiousity rushing to the spot.

"This is sad and should be avoided."
He added that villagers have agreed to do a mass cremation at a near by site. While injured have been taken to hospitals in the vicinity, post mortem of the dead is being done at the primary health centre nearby. Majority of the victims comes from scheduled castes and adivasis.

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