Villagers left homeless as land shiftshttps://indianexpress.com/article/cities/chandigarh/villagers-left-homeless-as-land-shifts/

Villagers left homeless as land shifts

Following incidents of houses developing cracks and collapsing in Chandi Kotla village of Panchkula,villagers allege that the authorities have stopped any kind of help to the aggrieved families,saying that the area is safe now.

Following incidents of houses developing cracks and collapsing in Chandi Kotla village of Panchkula,villagers allege that the authorities have stopped any kind of help to the aggrieved families,saying that the area is safe now.

“It is very difficult for us to stay here. Most of the people have left and we have lost all hopes from the authorities as they have stopped responding to our requests,” says Salim,a resident of Chandi Kotla village,pointing towards the fresh cracks in the walls of his house,which had emerged just a day ago.

About 300 residents of this village in Panchkula have shifted from their homes following the shifting of land leading to houses collapsing there. A portion of land in this village,which is situated on a high slope,shifted,leading to the collapse of a house on September 11,during heavy rainfall. The village is deserted now as fresh cracks emerge every day in the houses there.

The villagers are compelled to vacate their homes and spend their days in an open field nearby. About 35 families have moved out and have sent their belongings to their relatives’ homes. In the name of help,for all 300 people of the village,the Panchkula administration has provided five tents,which can barely accommodate four people at once.

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“We can manage during the day but the nights are very difficult. The mud stove doesn’t work in the wind and we cannot cook and the tents are too small and can catch fire if we cook inside them,” says Pago,an elderly woman,whose family of eight shares a tent with other families.

The villagers complain that the government is not taking any initiative to help them. Balwinder Singh,a resident,said,“We asked for more tents to be provided to us but for the past two weeks they keep saying that the tents are arriving from Ambala. We have put up lights near the tents ourselves. The food being given to us has also been stopped since the past three days”.

Villagers claim that about a week ago,the tehsildar came to the village and announced that the area is safe for habitation now and that the families can move back into their houses. “He said that the village is safe now and government will not provide any further help to us. We can get the cracks mended ourselves and move back,but the houses are completely destroyed,entire walls have shifted leaving gaps in between. The land keeps shifting every day and fresh cracks can be seen every day,but the authorities are completely neglecting it,” the villagers complained.

“The local MLA had visited the village and promised that actions will be taken soon. He had informed that funds of Rupees 13 crore have been assigned for Chandimandir area,but nothing is being done. The Deputy Commissioner and many other official also visited the village during the rains,but once the rains stopped we have been completely ignored,another villager claimed.

Executive officer of Panchkula Municipal Corporation,O P Siag,said,“We have sought a report from the Geology department of PU and other central authorities and any further action will be taken based on that”.