Remembering the village that was

Survivors at Asane relief camp recount tragedy to visitors; road being laid to connect site to neighbouring villages.

Written by PRASAD JOSHI , Chandan Shantaram Haygunde | Malin | Published: August 8, 2014 4:11:31 am
While the school remains, work on the road began on Thursday in the area surrounding it. (Express phto by Pavan Khengre) While the school remains, work on the road began on Thursday in the area surrounding it. (Express phto by Pavan Khengre)

After a week-long rescue operation, there was an eerie silence at Malin — the landslide-affected village — on Thursday. But the situation continued to be tense as survivors visited the village with memories of the past. Some of the the survivors have been shifted to the relief camp set up at Ashram school in  Asane village.

The rescue teams of National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) have left Malin village, but masks and gloves used by the personnel are strewn all over. Only a few policemen were deployed in and around Malin to control the movement of visitors.

On Thursday, some government personnel were engaged in laying a road that went via Malin and connected the small villages in the neighbourhood. The road had been buried under the debris. Health officials and staff continued to be in action at the primary health centre.

The school in Malin village where the NDRF and police teams took shelter during rescue operation wore a deserted look on Thursday. A blackboard that hung on a wall of one of the classrooms indicated the ordeal of the NDRF and police personnel during the rescue operation.

The blackboards in other classrooms had some details of the lessons taught  on July 28, two days before the landslide. The villagers, who were shifted to relief camp set up at Ashram school in Asane village, narrated their stories to the visitors and mediapersons.

Nivrutti Vitthal Zanjare (48), a policeman with the special branch of Pune city police, who lost 20 family members, including his mother and three brothers, said the tragedy was beyond him. “I was about to leave for work on July 30 when I got a call. It was about the landslide in my village. I rushed to Malin. Since then I have been here. Twenty of my family members were killed. But I mustered courage and helped rescue personnel in lifting and identifying several bodies from the village.

My brother Shravan had retired from Ammunition Factory in Khadaki and was living a peaceful life in Malin. Another brother, Govind, was a staffer at the primary health centre in Adivare village. My third brother, Genubhau, was a farmer. All three have died. Their children have also died. My mother Hausabai is also no more,” said Nivrutti.

Meanwhile, there were some visitors who visited the village just to see the landslide site. The number of such visitors is expected to rise, said a local.

42 bodies unidentified
Among 146 bodies dug out from the landslide site, 42, including 14 men and 28 women, are yet to be identified, Dr Milind Yadav, medical officer with primary health centre at Adivare told Newsline. “We have preserved DNA samples of unidentified bodies. It will help in tracing the legitimate heirs of victims,” he said.

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