Text of Home Minister’s Statement on Disaster in Pune
Following is the text of Suo Moto Statement made by the Home Minister Shri Rajnath Singh on the Disaster caused by landslide in Pune District of Maharashtra : *****
“I rise to inform this House with profound sorrow about the tragic disaster that occurred in Pune District. The State Government of Maharashtra reported that a landslide occurred between 8 to 8.30 am in Village Malin under Ambegaon Taluka on 30th July. About 40 to 50 houses caved in due to the landslide, with about 158 persons trapped under the debris. The State Government reported that the Taluka level disaster management team under the supervision of an Executive Magistrate was mobilized immediately. The nearest Public Health Centre at Adiware was earmarked to extend medical aid. 30 dumpers, 20 JCBs and 50 ambulances were mobilized by the State Government. The rescue efforts were initiated with the help of about 300 labourers mobilized from the two nearby Municipal Corporations Junner and Alandi. Rescue teams with flood lights and other equipment were arranged from the Municipal Corporations of Pimpri Chinchwad and Pune. Nine teams of NDRF, the National Disaster Response Force, comprising about 380 personnel, with necessary equipment rushed to the spot. As per the report received at 8.00 A.M. today, eight injured persons could be rescued so far. 51 dead bodies have been recovered. As per the 2011 census figures, the village had a population of 704, of whom 666 belonged to Scheduled Tribes and 34 to Scheduled Castes.
I received a report from the National Disaster Response Force that they received the first information from the district administration at 10.45 AM on 30th July. By 11.00 A.M, two teams of NDRF of the 5th Battalion at Pune left for Malingaon and reached the spot at 3 PM. 5 more teams of NDRF reached at 5.30 PM on 30th. Further, two more teams of NDRF joined the operations at 4 AM on 31st July.
I visited the village on 31st July. I was briefed regarding the progress of the rescue efforts by the District Collector, Superintendent of Police and by the Commandant of NDRF. The rescue efforts are hampered due to continuous rains 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 the dead bodies need to be handled with dignity and respect. I found that the operations were going on continuously.
I assure this House that the Government of India is providing all the required financial and other assistance for the immediate rescue and relief efforts. I would like to inform this august House that this landslide occurred in a region that was not considered highly vulnerable to landslides so far. As per the classification made by the Geological Survey of India, the western ghats do not fall either under ‘very high’ hazard zone or ‘high’ hazard zone. We shall see that Geological Survey of India conducts a scientific study of the whole issue, so that necessary corrective and mitigation measures are taken up in the habitations in the Western Ghats region. It would not be correct to hazard any guess regarding the particular causes that have triggered this landslide without such scientific study.
I conclude by stating that we are with the bereaved families and that all possible support from all the Ministries of the Government of India will be provided to the Government of Maharashtra in the rescue and relief efforts as per the requirements. We need to see that appropriate lessons are drawn from the experience of this disaster so that we can initiate corrective measures”.