Forgotten Malin is still picking up pieces a year after landslide

A year since a landslide killed more than 160 in this village, survivors still without drinking water and permanent shelter

The village of Malin in the Ambegaon taluka (Pune district) was wiped out by a monster landslide on July 30, 2014. But the 45 survivor-families of Malin village have been left to fend for themselves, with no drinking water facility, inadequate government aid and cramped-up residences.

The families are now staying in temporary shelters at Malin Fata, struggling for basic needs like water and shelter due to insufficient government funds to build permanent houses. PIC/SHRIKANT KHUPEKAR
The families are now staying in temporary shelters at Malin Fata, struggling for basic needs like water and shelter due to insufficient government funds to build permanent houses. Pic/Shrikant Khupekar

A year has passed since the tragedy - which witnessed the loss of over 160 lives - 44 households were buried under the mud. The families are now staying at temporary shelters at Malin Fata, struggling for basic needs like water and shelter due to insufficient government funds to build permanent houses.

Over 160 people were killed in the July 30 landslide. PIC/PTI
Over 160 people were killed in the July 30 landslide. PIC/PTI

“Though the plot provided for our shelter-homes is a little distance away from the old village, it’s still at the base of the same hill. Every fresh monsoon shower awakens the fear of the tragedy that consumed our entire village a year back,” said Savlaram Lembe (60), one of the villagers.

Malin woke up to the heavy landslide early in the morning of July 30 last year, which is believed to be have been caused by heavy rainfall, which even continued after the tragedy struck, stymieing rescue attempts.

“There was a huge Hanuman temple at the base of the hill, where the new road starts now. We lost it during the landslide and have no money to rebuild such a huge temple again. It was the deity of the entire village,” said Harishchandra Zanzre (40).

A litany of woes
Education has been affected too. “Arrangements were made for a primary school and the children also received compensation of Rs 75,000 each. But secondary school students have to travel to other villages and haven’t got compensation. It made no sense,” said Savlaram Lembe.

Savlaram also lost his house. “Temporary sheds were made and provided to 45 families but what about the others? There were 85 families in the village. We are now staying together or along with relatives, since there is no money to build homes. The government offered Rs 2 lakh each — Rs 1,25,000 to build a house and the rest for utensils and other household items. But that’s not nearly sufficient,” said Savlaram.

Apparently, state government officials are suggesting that the residents should register a cooperative society and appoint a builder to build houses for them. But the additional expenses have to be shelled out by the villagers. “Where will we get the money from?” asked Savlaram.

The families are dependent on a single bore-well, located across the street from their dwellings. “All the 45 families fill water from the same place. There is no way we can use the tank built by the government because the water is contaminated and gives out a strong stench,” said Harishchandra.

Apparently, the Pune Zilla Parishad has sanctioned some amounts for a hospital, aanganwadi, community home and animal shed. But the villagers still don’t have basic facilities like water and shelter.
“We are living in steel shelter homes with no space for all to sleep properly. We make our own arrangements or sleep in the barn. Rather than resolving this issue, the government is promising new things, added Lembe.

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