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‘Lesson to be drawn from Pune landslide for corrective steps’

Rescue workers carry the body of a victim

Promising all help for rescue and relief work at the landslide-hit Pune village, the Centre today said lessons need to be drawn

Rescue workers carry the body of a victimNew Delhi: Promising all help for rescue and relief work at the landslide-hit Pune village, the Centre today said lessons need to be drawn from the calamity for corrective action.

A scientific study would be conducted to ascertain that triggered the disaster in village Malin on July 30, Home Minister Rajnath Singh said in a suo motu statement in Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha.

“I assure this House that the Government of India is providing all the required financial and other assistance for immediate rescue and relief efforts,” he said.

Singh said, “We need to see that appropriate lessons are drawn from the experience of this disaster so that we can initiate corrective measures.”

He said the Geographical Survey of India (GSI) will be asked to conduct a scientific study of the mishap for corrective and mitigation measures in the habitations of Western Ghat regions as the disaster occurred despite the region not considered highly vulnerable for it.

As per the classification made by GSI, the Western Ghats do not fall either under “very high” hazard zone or “high” hazard zone, he said, adding, “It would not be correct to hazard any guess regarding the particular causes that have triggered this landslide without such scientific study.

” On the tragic incident, he said “we are with the bereaved families” and all possible support from all the ministries of Government of India will be provided to Maharashtra.

Admitting that “rescue efforts are hampered due to continuous rains”, Singh said, “As per the report received at 8 AM today, eight injured persons could be rescued so far, 51 dead bodies have been recovered.”

The village had a population of 704, of whom 666 belonged to Scheduled Tribes and 34 to Scheduled Castes.

Singh said as per Maharashtra government reports the landslide occurred between 8 AM and 8.30 AM in the village under Ambegaon Taluka and about 40 to 50 houses caved in with about 158 persons trapped under the debris.

“I visited the village on July 31″ and “I found that operations were going on continuously” despite being hampered due to rain and “the important need to take up the rescue work carefully, as the injured persons have to be given necessary medical aid after the rescue and dead bodies need to be handled with dignity and respect, Singh said.

50 ambulances, 30 dumpers and 20 JCBs have been pressed into service for rescue and relief work while nine teams of National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) comprising about 380 personnel were rushed to the spot, he said.

In addition, 300 labourers were mobilised from Municipal Corporations of Junner and Alandi and the rescue teams are armed with flood lights and necessary equipment.

Singh said after the incident Maharashtra government had reported that taluka-level disaster management team under an executive magistrate was mobilised immediately while the nearest public health centre at Adiware was earmarked to extend medical aid.

The NDRF report, he said, mentions that they got the first information from the district administration at 10.45 AM on July 30 and by 11 AM two NDRF teams of the 5th Battalion at Pune had left for Malingaon and reached the spot at 3 PM while five more teams reached at 5.30 PM. In addition two more teams joined at 4 AM on July 31. PTI

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