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Saki Naka residents waiting amidst rot for dear ones

Source: PTI
July 30, 2005 17:43 IST
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The residents of Saki Naka area of suburban Andheri, which was hit by a massive landslide that claimed 65 lives due to heavy rains, are anxiously waiting for their dear ones amidst devastation and foul smell as efforts are on to rescue people feared trapped in the debris.

"I have not seen my brother Mustaq for the past three days. I am not even sure if he is alive or not," said Asif, a resident of the area.

Whenever a survivor is pulled out of the debris, there is a flicker of hope on his face. However, gloom sets in again as the rescued turns out to be someone else.

"I cannot even think of food or anything else... I have to answer to my mother who is also worried, back in a village in Uttar Pradesh," he said.

Similar is the condition of many others, though some have lost hope. "I do not think my wife is alive, but I have to see the body and hence I am waiting here," said another resident Pradeep Mishra. "I had gone for work when this happened. I could return here only on Friday and since then I have not seen her," he added.

What is worse is that huge boulders are still coming down and the residents, who have no other place to go, are waiting amidst rescue operations.

The civic authorities have sprayed insecticides in the area to prevent outbreak of any disease. However, foul smell has started to emanate from the debris where many are feared trapped. 

Residents are also angry that rescue operations are not being speeded up by the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation.

"They could have cleared the debris earlier, but they are slow. If they had been faster, some lives could have been saved," a resident said.

"Help is coming, but it is a bit to slow. Most of us are already drained, we have not slept for several days," they said adding, "although we have food and water, what is more precious is the news of our dear ones."

One of the residents, who had witnessed the tragedy, said it happened very fast before any one could react.

"The stones came down and those who were inside the house were buried under the sea of debris. It was raining, making the matter worse and no one could be rescued," said Mohan Yadav, a resident.

"Some screams were heard, but we were totally helpless as we had no answer to nature's fury. Our houses along with our dear ones, were swallowed," he added.

"It's a living nightmare for us as a dark future is in store for us, with our family members gone and a question mark hanging over our future," he added.

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