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Maharashtra

Taliye hillslide washout: Uddhav Thackeray wipes tears of dazed survivors

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UDDHAV-THACKERAY

A day after a hillslip flattened the ill-fated Taliye village near Mahad in Raigad, Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray visited the site, met the few survivors and with folded hands, attempted to wipe their tears.

Hopping onto a chopper from Mumbai for the short flight to Raigad, Thackeray later drove down to the village, where he was accompanied by Ministers Eknath Shinde (Shiv Sena), Vijay Wadettiwar (Congress), Aditi Tatkare (Nationlist Congress Party) and her father Sunil Tatkare, the local NCP MP, and other top officials.

En route, he grimly took in the scenes of the massive havoc wreaked by nature’s fury in the past three days in the coastal Konkan and western Maharashtra.

The entire region reeks of disaster, destruction, deaths of humans and animals, stench of the fast-rotting remains, razed fields and farmlands, spelling doom for the dazed people wondering how to pick up the threads afresh for their future.

“We have lost everything except the clothes I am wearing I have lost my entire 6-member family in the hillslide,” wept one of the lucky survivors, a woman, Archana, aged around 35.

She was consoled by a similarly orphaned teenaged girl, Sandhya, from the now-erased Taliye village, who miraculously escaped the thousands of tonnes of sticky wet earth, boulders, stones, tree clumps, bushes and water as a 60-70 meter tall portion of the hillock crashed early on Friday.

Of the total 35 single or double-storied homes standing in the once bustling village, 32 have practically disappeared and so far there have been around 50 deaths and an equal number feared missing.

Another middle-aged man, dug out from the slush and was rushed to a Mahad hospital, had horror writ on his face – “We had not time to escape. There was a rumbling sound and in seconds, our landscape and the world changed,” he said.

One survivor, Mahendra Pol said with moist eyes that his entire family escaped the disaster and managed to flee to safety while most of his neighbours and friends were killed.

Thackeray gave patient hearing to the villagers and the survivors, and assured that the entire village would be redeveloped and resurrected, with full help to the locals who lost everything.

He also said that there are many villages in such potentially dangerous locations which would also be shifted to safer areas to prevent such tragedies in future.

“You please take care of yourself, leave everything else to us. We are with you and the government will ensure full help for your complete rehabilitation,” Thackeray assured the weeping villagers, many of whom are yet unable to accept the changed scenario.

Shortly afterwards, Housing Minister Dr Jitendra Awhad made the welcome announcement that the Taliye village would be fully rebuilt from scratch by the Maharashtra Housing & Area Development Authority.

NDRF and SDRF teams are continuing the digging operations to rescue possible survivors or bodies, with intermittent rains still lashing the region, and extricated a nine-year old girl from the slush on Saturday afternoon.

During Thackeray’s visit, a sudden heavy shower swept the area, and he grabbed an umbrella to speak to the survivors and the local media.

He also told the villagers not to bother about their identification papers and other important documents which have been lost, assuring that everything would be replaced.

The Taliye mishap reminded many of a similar hill-slip that wiped off the Malin village of Pune district in the morning of July 30, 2014, shocking the nation. While 151 were killed, just 38 survived, including 8 who were outsiders visiting the village and were stuck owing to torrential rains.

Though deforestation has been attributed as the prime cause in both Malin and Taliye catastrophes, Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar said on Saturday that the latter (Taliye) was not in a landslip prone area and the culprit was the torrential downpour that inundated Mahad and surrounding hilly areas.

As rains took brief respite, small groups of villagers visited Taliye, huddled in disbelief at the sight, controlling emotions of grief, anger and sheer helplessness at the monumental tragedy.

Against their usual smiling pals or friendly neighbourhood folks, all they witnessed are remnants of broken pots and pans, destroyed household furniture or fittings, chunks of ruined walls of erstwhile cheerful homes, the metal or concrete sheets of roofs, with no signs of life.

Maharashtra

Did Mumbai police impose curfew in city? Watch what Joint CP Vishwas Nangre Patil has to say

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The news about the Mumbai Police imposing curfew has been doing rounds on social media. However, the Mumbai police have clarified that it is a routine order. They have also made it clear that this is not a new order but the same order which is renewed every 15 days.

On December 2, several news reports claimed that the Mumbai police has issued an order under which it imposed a prohibition of the gathering of more than four-five people and banned the use of loudspeakers among other things till January 2.

Refuting the claims about the same, Vishwas Nangre Patil, Joint CP (Law & Order), in a video, explained how it is just a routine order renewed every 15 days, and appealed to all to not share it further. He informed that it is a routine procedure under the prohibitory orders under section 37 of the Maharashtra Police Act in Mumbai.

He stated that the order will change nothing for residents and that all the scheduled functions can be celebrated as per the plan. He stated that the order will largely affect those who will be involved in illegal protests and gatherings and not common residents. 

The video was shared by official handle of Mumbai Police with the caption, “Clarification on CRPC #144 The news of ‘curfew’ imposed in Mumbai is doing rounds of the Internet. Joint CP @vishwasnp (Law & Order) explains how it is just a routine order renewed every 15 days, and appeals all to not share it further.”

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Maharashtra

On Camera: Fire engulfs apartment in Malad high-rise, no injuries reported so far

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On Saturday morning, a massive fire broke out on the third level of the 21-story skyscraper Marina Enclave in Janakalyan Nagar, Malad in Mumbai.

The blaze erupted in the flat located on the third floor of the high rise building in Malad around 11 am.

At least four fire tenders were rushed to the spot and the fire was doused within 15 minutes, he said, adding that nobody was injured in the incident.

The cause of the fire is being ascertained and further details are awaited, he said.After the entire floor was engulfed in flames, some people on the floor were seen coming to the balcony and calling for help. With the help of locals, the people caught in the fire were brought out safely.

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Maharashtra

Mumbai: Will schools, colleges remain closed due to section 144 across the city? Here’s what we know

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 With the Mumbai police imposing section 144 across the city as prohibitory orders due to reports of disruptions of public order and peace in the near future, posing a threat to human life and property, there has been concerns over what activities have been permitted and what haven’t been. 

Schools, colleges, and other educational institutions have also been considered by the Mumbai Police while releasing the diktat, which has been extended till January 2. 

It should be noted schools and colleges across Mumbai will not be impacted by the extension of section 144 across the city and will continue to function in accordance with their academic calendars. 

There have been no official notifications by the authorities or institutions regarding the closure of schools and colleges in the city so far. 

Vishal Thakur, Deputy Commissioner of Mission Department, Mumbai Police, issued the orders via press release .

  • Bursting and playing loudspeakers, instruments, bands and crackers
  • Any kind of processions are not permitted
  • Loudspeakers are not allowed at the processings
  • Processions on all kind of marriage ceremonies, funeral meetings, on the way to cemeteries, legal meetings of companies (at major scales), clubs, cooperative societies and other associations
  • Social gatherings, at mass level, around clubs, theatres or places of public entertainment film in or around any place, gathering for the purpose of watching plays or programmes, acts
  • Gatherings of people around courts and government offices and around local bodies performing government or semi-government functions, meeting for schools, colleges and other educational institutions for educational activities, factories, general business,
  • Meetings for business and solicitation in shops and establishments, demonstration of other gatherings and processions, those who are allowed have been expelled from this order by the divisional deputy commissioner of police and his monitoring officers.
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