Rajnath stresses on balance between environment and development

HM lauds the rescue work in Pune
Pune, Jul 31: Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh, who visited the disastrous landslide site at Malin village near here today, said it was necessary to strike a balance between environment and development. "Eco-friendly development is necessary to ensure that nature's balance is not disturbed in the process," Singh said.

He was replying to a query as to whether deforestation and subsequent soil erosion in the hilly terrain led to the huge landslide that buried alive an estimated 44 families.

Singh, who announced a financial assistance of Rs two lakh each to the families of the victims from the Prime Minister's relief fund, told reporters that the Centre will offer all possible help to the state government in dealing with the calamity.

"It will be premature to comment on the reasons behind the incident before any inquiry is conducted by Geological Survey personnel," he said. Singh said that the provisions of environmental and forest clearance of both state and central government were in place to address environmental concerns.

Singh: It will be premature to comment on the reasons behind the incident

The Home Minister lauded the rescue work undertaken since yesterday by NDRF and state agencies and said it was estimated that it will be over within two days.

Asked if VIP movement and visits by Maharashtra ministers to the mishap site was affecting rescue work, Singh said in a democracy, political leadership has a responsibility. "But care should be taken to ensure that rescue work is not affected by such visits," he added.

Thirty people have been killed in the landslide that occurred yesterday morning at Malin village.

Nearly 44 houses were crushed in the village, situated in Ambegaon taluka, some 120 kms from the district headquarters here in Western Maharashtra, by the massive landslide and about 150 people were still feared to be trapped under the debris.


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