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Tuesday, April 07, 2020

Nada Sahab colony: The ground beneath their feet is shrinking

The rain corrodes away the rear side of the mountain-like structure where their houses are built.

Written by Pallavi Singhal | Panchkula | Published: February 19, 2020 11:50:50 am
Nada Sahab colony: The ground beneath their feet is shrinking Houses at Nada Sahab Colony in Panchkula. (Express Photo: Jaipal Singh)

The Nada Sahab colony, located at the rear of Nada Sahib Gurdwara, which was established by the forefathers of all the 500 residents that currently reside in almost 60 houses, is shrinking each passing year. The rain corrodes away the rear side of the mountain-like structure where their houses are built. Even after several complaints to the Municipal Corporation, no action has been taken yet.

Abhijeet Singh, 19, with a family of 10 members, points towards his house that sits almost on the edge of almost 25-foot mountain. “There was plenty of area ahead of my house a few years back. Year after year it shrunk and now we are scared that our home is in danger. If the soil corrodes away anymore, it is our houses that will fall. We have already vacated this side of the house,” Abhijeet says.

This back road of the colony, according to locals, has already been cut by more than four to five feet. “The road was earlier so wide that trucks and trolleys would come up here easily. Now only two-wheelers come here,” says Ranjot Singh, whose house lies right at the front of the cut of the road that has narrowed. The family, in an attempt to make the road safer before the monsoons, have taken it upon themselves to fix the problem and are building pillars to support the structure. “The MC has neither supported the building, nor is it building any grills at the edges. We are scared our children might fall off it. We always have to be extra cautious whenever we move on the road,” she adds.

The road did not have paver blocks earlier, say residents. Although the installation of paver blocks helped to some extent, the past monsoon has proved they are of no use as they have already started falling off the edges.

Nada Sahab colony, house condition in Nada Sahab colony, houses at Nada Sahab colony, panchkula news, indian express A villager shows cracks in the wall of her house. (Express Photo: Jaipal Singh)

The chain of houses at the front end of the mountain is the one getting most affected. The homes have severe cracks in their walls and foundations. “This cutting off of land from edges is putting severe pressure on the whole stability of the structure. The land is dropping in some places while elevating in others. All this has led to the formation of cracks in our walls. Though we get them filled each time a crack appears, we are scared the houses will just slide off anyday if an earthquake comes,” says Kalyan Singh, 78.

Although the residents realise the project is extensive and will take a lot of money and some time to be implemented, they say they do not have any other option but to live here as “this is our ancestral land and we have never lived anywhere else”. All the residents of the colony work at the gurdwara itself, setting up small shops inside and around the premises. The residents claim that their settlement pre-dates the then HUDA and now HSVP (Haryana Shehri Vikaas Pradhikaran) and has belonged to them since much earlier than the city was built.

Jarnail Singh, a 32-year-old resident, said, “We had approached the MC and the MLA a few times last year. Two teams were even sent by them twice, just before elections which took a look at the site and said they would soon prepare a plan to help us. They were a little hesitant though as they said a huge amount of money would go into the building of a supporting structure. They had said an RCC (Reinforced Cement Concrete) wall would be made. But there has been no update since after elections.”

Municipal Commissioner Sumedha Kataria said, “We are looking into the feasibility of providing them with the structure. If the plan passes, we have no shortage of funds to carry it out.”

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