THE PUNE district administration will have to take immediate cognisance of 10 villages in the district that are “highly prone to landslides” if they want to avoid a Malin landslide-like episode again, especially when the district is witnessing heavy rains.
Two years after the landslide tragedy, which killed 151 people in Malin, a survey carried out by the College of Engineering Pune (COEP) on the instructions of the District Disaster Management Authority has marked these villages as “critical”, meaning immediate action was needed for the mitigation of landslides/rockfalls.
The college carried out a detailed survey of 23 landslide-prone villages in the district and has prepared its report after testing the soil and doing the slope stability analysis for each of the sites. Incidentally, the COEP was roped in after the Groundwater Survey Development Agency (GDSA) failed to give an independent report for each of these villages. The report is yet to be submitted to the administration.
While sharing the findings of the report, the college authorities and District Disaster Management team said that along with the risk factors, they have estimated that adequate precautions needed to be taken for these 10 villages, which includes construction of walls or shifting out some of the villagers, which should cost an estimated sum of Rs 3.5 crore. Officials from the District Disaster Management Cell said that they would try and get the required funds but cannot immediately vacate the villages as the monsoon was in full swing.
“We have carried out a geo-technical investigation on each of the 23 sites listed as landslide-prone villages. Our team visited each of the villages and carried out detailed survey by collecting soil as well as using software to do slope stability analysis and we have given suggestions for each of the village and suggested that 10 of the villages needed immediate intervention,” said B Birajdar, professor at COEP, who along with the students carried out this study. The college stated that 10 of these villages have to be rehabilitated immediately.
However, the District Disaster Management authorities said that rehabilitation of all would not be immediately possible as they would have to be given alternate land and there are villagers who oppose moving out of their village.
Incidentally, the survey was to be conducted immediately after Malin landslide tragedy occurred on July 30, 2014. The administration said that a committee was formed in all the 1,405 revenue villages. The committee comprised talathi, circle officer and gram sevaks who were to conduct their own survey and give an initial report about their own village. At this stage, 94 of the villages had mentioned that they were landslide-prone.
“The GSI was to give a final report on these villages. It undertook a survey of 200 villages in the state that were landslide-risk prone and they gave a consolidated report but not an independent report. This made it difficult for the team to act and so another survey was proposed by COEP. They will be submitting their report which will be forwarded to the state government for approval while funds would be cleared in the next meeting of the DPDC,” said the officials from the district disaster management office.
However, with just the report readied, the entire process of rehabilitation and steps taken cannot be carried out this year and can be undertaken only next year, said officials.