After eight days of search for bodies at the Malin landslide site, the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) and the district administration on Wednesday ended their operations. As many as 151 bodies have been recovered from the debris. The NDRF also searched the river near the village for bodies.
In the search and rescue operation, 146 bodies were recovered intact and five in parts. After an hour-long meeting with villagers and with their consent, the operation was declared complete by Pune district collector Saurabh Rao and NDRF commandant Alok Awasthy.
Of the dead, 143 were from Malin while the remaining 8 were visiting their relatives. “The operation has ended after a discussion with the villagers who were satisfied by the efforts of the NDRF and the administration,” said Rao. He has been at the spot from day one monitoring the entire operation along with Awasthy.
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“This was a difficult operation due to the nature of terrain and the rain facto,” said Awasthy.
NDRF had pressed into service a team of 378 personnel.
Only one body was excavated from the site on Wednesday, that of 75-year-old Kusabai Lembhe, even as an NDRF team was sent for operations to locate bodies in the river as insisted by villagers.
“According to data available from panchayat samiti and the data from census and voters’ list, we had estimated 143 people from the gaothan buried in the debris while remaining 8 were visitors which took the toll to 151. There were 46 houses. Some of the bodies due to the highly decomposed state could not be retrieved fully. While nearly 36 bodies were not identified, the last rites were carried out after collecting DNA samples,” said Rao.
The administration said that the total affected population was 182, of which there were 38 who escaped. Eight were pulled out alive, others were not caught in the landslide. There were 14 who were away from the village.
The administration has readied a database of each family with the number of members of the household with the help of the panchayat samiti, members from the village gram panchayat and other local body members. Only after the site operation is complete, the administration will submit a final report to the state government.
The government has announced a compensation of Rs 5 lakh for each family, while the Centre has offered Rs 2 lakh each. The NDRF team braved heavy odds to find the bodies.
Officials said the list of dead was prepared with the help of the socio-economic survey report, angandwadi workers, schoolteachers, ration cards, family members and other villagers. NDRF teams also searched Bubra river for bodies, but did not find any.” “We were not in a hurry to wind up the operation. Only after the villagers gave consent, we ended the operation,” said Awasthy. Earthmovers levelled the site in the evening and access route to the adjacent village closed during the rescue efforts was cleared.