Twenty-three villages in Pune district, mostly in the northern part, have been identified as vulnerable to landslides and mudslides like the one in Malin, a government survey has revealed.
A study conducted by a scientists from the Geographical Survey of India (GSI) shows there are 23 vulnerable villages at the foothills of the Sahyadri range in Pune, which receive heavy rainfall with strong winds and could face a Malin-like tragedy.
The group conducted a survey in 95 villages in Bhor, Velha Junnar, Ambegao and Khed taluka. The reason for the Malin tragedy, as mentioned by the GSI team, was massive soil erosion.
District collector Sourav Rao has chalked out a special plan for these villages in case of any eventuality. The plan includes several factors from communication to medical service and rehabilitation as most of these villages are situated in remote places like Malin.
People in 23 villages, identified as vulnerable to landslides, live in fear. “We cannot leave this place because we are farmers. We have no option but to remain here,” said Haribhau Tote, a farmer from Bhomale village in Khed taluka.
A portion of the hill in Bhomale village collapsed almost 20 years ago. A major tragedy was averted because of the trees and rocks in the area. “Today, the trees have been cut and rocks loosened and anything can happen in case of a heavy downpour,” Tote said.
Tribals in Junnar, Ambegaon and Khed talukas in the Bhimashankar range have been demanding some permanent solution or that they be shifted to a safe place. The residents of Borghar village were shifted to a government school last year after the Malin incident.