Showing posts with label Pune landslide. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Pune landslide. Show all posts

Saturday, August 9, 2014

The Pune Landslide tragedy

 A Tragedy struck in a Pune village in the form of a land slide on July 30 killing nearly 200 people.
  In fact no one knows exactly how many people died in the mishap. The dead were tribal people and the place was most backward area on the slopes of a hill. The poor people did agricultural work on the hill and lived on the slopes in a cluster of huts. When the rain lashed incessantly on the hill the loose soil and rocks flowed downhill and inundated the hutments. Except for a lucky few all the inmates died there and then. The poor souls never knew what happened.

In this case, a tribal employment scheme sponsored by the Government was also reported to be guilty in ushering-in the tragedy. The scheme gave employment to the tribal people and the work was flattening the hill top which made a large portion of hill top soil turn loose and bunds were not erected to prevent the soil from flowing downhill. There was not much rain when the work on the hill was doing. Later the rain strengthened and the unprotected soil and rocks flowed down.  In the Pune tragedy a Hanuman temple situated on the hill was also inundated and a group of visiting students who stood in the temple premises to escape from a sudden rain were suspected to have buried. Some local students were also in the vicinity and they too are missing. The incident turned out to be a great tragedy with a big loss of lives.

 Similar landslides occur wherever people do on the hill tops. There are many people living on the slopes of Western Ghats of Kerala cultivating Rubber, tapioca etc and the land slide tragedy strikes them often. Since they do not live in a cluster of houses as the tribal people, the inmates of a couple of houses or so die in the mishap. Such incidents are always tragic irrespective of the death toll.

The trees, plants and grass protect the soil from erosion and when the eco system is upset the Mother Nature will retaliate. We have to live in tune with the nature to avoid such calamities.