Two-and-a-half years after the Malin landslide tragedy that killed nearly 151 people, villagers are ready to move into the new houses built by the government for them. As many as 78 houses, which are claimed to withstand landslides and are enabled with 18 different amenities, will be handed over to the survivors of the tragedy by Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis. The ceremony is scheduled to take place either on March 28 or April 2 depending on CM’s availability, Pune District administration said.
On 30 July 2014, a major landslide, which occurred early morning when most of the villagers were at home after two days of incessant rainfall, killed 151 residents and injured many others. Soon after the rescue work ended, the state government had promised to build new houses for the villagers at a location of their choice. The district administration, led by Collector Saurabh Rao, had zeroed-in on several locations, including Jhambrewadi, Kashalwadi and Chinchwadi, but the villagers didn’t approve of them. Finally they agreed for a 8 acre plot in village Amade not far from the original village.
Digambar Bhalchim, a resident and former sarpanch of Malin, said that the survivors were eager to shift to the new homes. For the last 30 months, the surviving families are staying in makeshift homes made of tin sheets. “The houses are good and we are happy about it. They have all the required facilities and are well designed. It turned out to be a long wait, but the survivors are happy about the way they have turned out,” said Bhalchim. The village school, the only surviving building at the landslide site, has been rebuilt and painted at the same place.
Collector Saurabh Rao said that the beautification and final touch up work was on at the rehabilitation site and that it would be completed within a week. “The houses been designed by experts from College of Engineering, Pune to deal with landslides. A third party audit has also been carried out,” said Rao. The new site was surveyed by the Geographical Survey of India (GSI) before the rehabilitation work started in February 2015.