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Pune landslide: 27 dead, more than 100 still trapped; Aravallis safe, says experts
The death toll has risen to 27 in the landslide tragedy that took place yesterday in Pune's Malin village. The rescue operation is going on in full speed. According to rescue officials at least 70 houses have been buried under mud.
Two National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) teams are carrying out the rescue operations. Home Minister Rajnath Singh also visited the village today. Environmentalists feel that deforestation was the trigger for the landslide in Pune's village.

A large scale deforestation has made the place vulnerable to such incidents. The uncontrolled flow of rainwater on a sloped surface washes away soil and boulders, threatening people living along the base of hilly regions.

Chandra Bhushan, Deputy Director General at Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) while reacting on the Pune tragedy said that it was the result of deforestation in the area and the heavy rain fall.

"What happened in Pune is the combination of deforestation and rainfall. Trees are the major sources which binds and packs soil together. Here because of deforestation a large portion was caved in," said Chandra Bhushan.

Huge scale deforestation and illegal mining activities are also taking place in Aravalli range of mountains near Gurgaon in the northern Indian state of Haryana. Can a Pune like landslide in areas nearby Aravalli range possible? Environmentalists' say, no it is not possible because mountains in Aravalli range are very old.

Chandra Bhushan said, "Landslide generally happens when the earth mass is loose, and it doesn't happen near old mountains. Aravallis is very old, so the landslide chances at Aravallis is very very low. Generally this phenomenon is not witnessed with old mountains. It will happen on Himalayas, as it is a very young mountain, therefore you can see lot of landslides in Himalayas."

The Aravalli is a range of mountains in western India running approximately 800 km in a northeastern direction across Indian states of Gujarat, Rajasthan, Haryana and Delhi.

Sanjay Kaushik, a post graduate in Horticulture and President of a Gurgaon based NGO, Uthaan, which works for green movement and conservation of non-renewable fossil fuels said, "There are no chances of landslide near Aravalli, because Aravalli is a very old mountain range. The soil texture is more in Pune, whereas it is not the same here as we can see more rocks here. But still, deforestation and land mining are the major problems in Gurgaon."

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