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Nearby village fears apocalypse similar to Malin

Residents of Chinchewadi, a kilometre away, say they are living in constant fear, as structure and location of their homes resemble the ones doomed by the landslide in Malin last Wednesday

Narrating the agony and trauma of losing his father Natu in the Malin landslide, Dilip Lembe said the old man had just entered the village when the disaster took place. Lembe, who is a resident of Chinchewadi village, located a kilometre ahead of Malin, said villagers were petrified upon learning that Malin had been swallowed by mudslide. They are so scared that none stepped out of their homes since the disaster, he added.

Dilip Lembe
Future uncertain: Dilip Lembe of Chinchewadi, which is just a kilometre away from Malin. Lembe lost his father in the disaster last Wednesday.

“Besides mourning the death of my father and hundreds of Malin villagers, the entire village fears that the settlement might end up having a fate similar to that of our neighbours. The structure of our homes, built on mountains and its slope, is similar to those in Malin,” Lembhe said.

He added that since the landslide engulfed the only connecting road, the villagers are trapped and cut off from the nearest health centre in Adivare village. “Luckily, today (Thursday) we received food grains from an NGO in Junnar,” Lembe said.
Another Chinchewadi resident, Dilip Pote, said, “The government should rehabilitate all the villages nestled in the hills. Even if we don’t get adequate farmlands, we are ready to shift.”

Rebuilding
A day after the Public Works Department (PWD) officials called of the search and rescue operation on Wednesday, work commenced to reconstruct the only road connecting the neighbouring villages. “Permanent restoration of the road will take time. But we are trying to build a temporary road to connect villages on the other side of Malin,” Harish Bhagwat, Narayangaon branch engineer of PWD said. PWD dy engineer S B Devde said reconstruction of the 500-metre stretch was their priority. “We have been informed that minor landslides have occurred in villages situated in the upper hills, ahead of Malin. So tomorrow (Friday) we will reach these spots and clear debris to restore connectivity.”

Living in dark
Electricity supply to seven small villages remains interrupted ever since the landslide damaged five electricity polls last Wednesday. “Since rescue operations were on till Wednesday, we couldn’t restore electricity supply to these villages. All the villages have a single-phase connection. Power will be restored by today evening,” said Anil Chougule, MSEDCL deputy engineer.

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