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Taliye landslide: Scores join as mass ritual for 84 victims held at mishap site

On July 22, a landslide triggered by heavy rainfall buried completely Kondalkar Wadi of Taliye. While rescue teams managed to recover 53 bodies, at least 31 others, feared buried under the debris but could not be retrieved.

Written by Vallabh Ozarkar | Mumbai |
Updated: August 4, 2021 9:28:02 am
After the rituals, a meeting was held between villagers and the district administration to discuss the rehabilitation of the affected villagers. (Express photo)

A mass 13th day ritual for the 84 people, who died in the rain-triggered landslide at Taliye village in Mahad last month, was performed at the mishap site Tuesday in the presence of thousands of people who had gathered at the village from all across the state.

On July 22, a landslide triggered by heavy rainfall buried completely Kondalkar Wadi of Taliye. While rescue teams managed to recover 53 bodies, at least 31 others, feared buried under the debris but could not be retrieved, were declared dead after a three-day search operation that was finally called off at the request of the villagers who were upset at the mutilated and decomposed conditions of the bodies.

On Tuesday, Raigad district collector Nidhi Chaudhari, local MLA from Shivsena Bharatshet Gogavale and Thane mayor Naresh Mhaske offered their condolences to the bereaved families. After the rituals, a meeting was held between villagers, public representatives and the district administration to discuss the rehabilitation of the affected villagers. Two areas, at some distance from the mishap site, were being considered for the same, sources said.

According to the district administration, apart from the families whose houses were damaged due to the landslide, the process of rehabilitation of others living in the vicinity of the hill was also needed and a process to select a land for the same was on.

“Apart from Kondalkar Wadi, there are around 300 more families who have to be relocated and we have identified two lands as suggested by the villagers, which is a few hundred metres from the mishap site. The lands are private and the process for acquiring it after the conducting proper tests is on,” a district administration official said.

Tulsi Pol, whose relatives died in the landslide, said, “The hill has become dangerous now and living there could be risky. We were offered land at the bottom of Raigad fort but it’s over 50 kilometres away from our village. But that land is not suitable for us as people have their livelihood here. What would they do so far away? Hence we have requested the administration to give us land near our existing village only.”

Those who have lost houses have currently been shifted to temporary houses arranged by the administration and villagers.

“Apart from rehabilitation and the compensation, the government also needs to provide the livelihood to those family members who have lost earning members of their family. In a few cases, only one or two persons are left in the family and there is a need to think about them too,” Naresh Mhaske, Thane mayor, said. Mhaske, a native of the village, also attended the last rites of the victims.

Gogavale, meanwhile, said they were contemplating erecting a memorial to the victims at the mishap site but their priority was rehabilitation.

While the situation in the flood-affected areas in the Raigad district is getting slowly limping back on track, there are areas in Mahad and Poladpur regions where electricity or telephone connectivity is yet to resume.

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