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Posted at: Sep 14, 2017, 2:14 AM; last updated: Sep 14, 2017, 2:14 AM (IST)

Masol — remote and deserted

Lack of basic facilities forces residents to take shelter in nearby areas
Masol — remote and deserted
Large-size fossils of animals and human beings were recovered from Masol village. File photo

Akash Ghai

Tribune News Service

Mohali, September 13

Mohali district’s remote village Masol, which hit the headlines after the recovery of large-size fossils of animals and even human beings, is being deserted by residents due to lack of basic facilities.

Panchayat secretary Hakam Singh said 35 per cent of the families had left the village and settled in Kiratpur.

Hakam Singh said as many as 60 families used to reside in the village. “In the past few years, around 20 families have migrated to nearby areas. The reason is that there are no basic facilities here. The village doesn’t have even an approach road,” said the panchayat secretary.

“Almost all families in the village are poor. Most men are labourers and go to nearby areas, including Nayagaon, Chandigarh and Kiratpur for work,” said Hakam Singh.

Let alone an approach road, the remote village doesn’t have a good school, drainage system and potable water supply. All it has is a primary school. Of the six rooms, three have already been declared unsafe. A room has been occupied by anganwari. The school’s strength is 62.

“When you visit the place, you get a strange feeling. There’s nothing in the name of development. Even the stone age might have been better,” said another senior official of the Mohali administration.

After the recovery of fossils and intervention of the Punjab and Haryana High Court (the high court has picked three villages, each from Punjab, Haryana and Chandigarh and directed the administration/state governments to develop them), the administration has chalked out a plan. “An approach road to Masol is being constructed. It will be completed by June 2018,” said Sanjeev Garg, Mohali Additional Deputy Commissioner (Development). Several development works would be undertaken in the area soon, said the ADC.

ASI to acquire land for research

The Archaeological Survey of India is going to acquire a huge chunk of land in and around Masol for  research. The Mohali administration has identified 151 acres in Masol to enable the ASI to undertake its excavation work. Earlier, the excavation at the site was carried out by a joint team of Indian and French archaeologists around two years ago. The team is said to have found nearly 1,500 fossils. Before that, the oldest fossils were found at the Rift Valley in Ethiopia.

Modi viewed findings last year

On January 24, 2016, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, along with the then President of France Francois Hollande, viewed the display of archaeological findings from the area, which suggested human activity 2.6 million years ago here. This significant discovery is the result of seven years of extensive research and collaboration between the Prehistory Department of the National Museum of Natural History of France and the Society of Archaeological and Anthropological Research of Chandigarh.


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