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Pune landslide: Death toll goes up to 50
With more bodies being extricated on Thursday from the debris of the landslide that devastated the Malin village in Pune, the death toll has now gone up to 50 and another 130 are still trapped under the huge pile of mud and rock debris.

Alok Awasthi, commandant of National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) said, "We are trying our best, but with every passing moment the situation is taking a turn for the worse. The hills are soft due to rains and deforestation," as reported by Hindustan Times.

Maharashtra Chief minister Prithviraj Chavan said the government would look into the concerns of environmental experts who blame deforestation for landslides in hilly areas. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has mourned the loss of lives and said all possible efforts must be made to help the victims.

According to media reports, Sahas Manch, an NGO working in the area, has blamed that short-sighted government policy and shoddy implementation of its schemes are the major underlying factors behind the tragedy. Due to the carelessness of the government officials in measuring and leveling of the land for the Padkai scheme, the hill slopes were flattened and trees were cut down to develop cultivable plots.

They also said that the land was flattened by uprooting the trees which loosens the soil, and stone binds were not built to contain erosion, all these factors caused the landslide.

According to an official data, it has been said that 28,000 trees were cut for the projects discussed above by the government, but the unofficial figures puts the count to around three lakhs, as reported by TOI.

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