Mumbai:  Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan said here today that people living in dangerous locations across the state, which are prone to landslides, would have to be shifted elsewhere to prevent such incidents, official sources said.

Chavan, who briefed his cabinet about the incident after his visit to the accident site in Pune district, said that 44 houses in Malin village of Ambegaon taluka were affected.

“In order to ensure that such an incident does not happen again, people living in dangerous locations need to be shifted elsewhere and rehabilitated. About 300 National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) personnel are engaged in rescue operations. However, it is difficult to take equipment to the accident spot because of narrow roads and mud. People have been crowding the place, hampering rescue operations,” Chavan told the cabinet, according to officials.

Appealing to the public not to crowd the place, Chavan said that more two days would be required to clear the debris.

“There are several villages near the hills along the Sahaydri mountain ranges. There are incidents of landslide due to cutting of trees as well as construction activities on the hills. Mountains have been flattened for agriculture”, he said.

Chavan said that since environmental experts have informed that the Malin landslide occurred due to such activities, if necessary, a policy would be prepared to tackle such activities.

Meanwhile, official sources also said that the Maharashtra state government is likely to order a probe into the incident and announce compensation after a detailed report of the devastation is prepared by the state’s relief and rehabilitation department as well as cleared by the cabinet next week.

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