The Maharashtra government’s ambitious plan to make Malin village, where 151 people died in mudslide a year ago, a ‘model of rehabilitation’ is stuck in its own rules, forcing affected families to live in temporary sheds without basic amenities.
While the government has identified an eight-acre plot for the rehabilitation of 70 families who lost their homes in the landslide, the affected people are reluctant to shift or enter into any agreement with the government for two reasons – they feel the plot, in a hilly area, is unsafe, and the compensation being offered is too less.
Shaken by the tragedy last year, people are unwilling to settle in another hilly area. Government officials express their helplessness. “The entire area is hilly. There is no table land in this area. We will have to level the earth of we want a flat plot, but after the landslide, the government is reluctant to tamper with the area’s natural topography,” said a government official.
The government has formed a cooperative housing society to complete the legal procedure of handing over land and constructing houses. But the victims say the sum of Rs 2 lakh, which they are being offered to build houses, is inadequate. They also complain the plan has no place for a cattle shed, an important part of their lives.
According to provisions of the Rehabilitation Act, Rs2 lakh is the maximum amount that can be disbursed. While the district administration has asked to treat Malin as a ‘special case’, no decision has been taken.
In the meantime, affected families continue to live in 100 square feet temporary tin sheds, without basic facilities such as wash rooms, drinking water and a proper approach road. Vithoba Dangat, who has been staying in a temporary shed said, “We cannot forget past and are not sure about future. Theses sheds will never withstand heavy rains and gusty winds. How can we take shelter here?”