Sirsa: Displaced families of Thed endure years of neglect, broken promises : The Tribune India

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Sirsa: Displaced families of Thed endure years of neglect, broken promises

7 yrs ago, they were relocated to flats in Sirsa that lack basic amenities

Sirsa: Displaced families of Thed endure years of neglect, broken promises

Garbage littered outside the main gate of the housing board flats in Sirsa.. Photos by writer



Anil Kakkar

Sirsa, July 9

Residents of Thed (a mound) in Sirsa, who were relocated to the Housing Board flats seven years ago, are facing severe difficulties. These flats lack drinking water, proper electricity and sanitation.

Waste accumulated around drinking water pipes of the flats

753 families moved to these flats

  • Initially, 753 out of over 3,000 families were moved to these flats temporarily, following a High Court order to vacate Thed as the Archaeology Department had claimed its 85 acres of land, which mandated the government to provide permanent housing for the displaced.
  • The living conditions in these flats are poor. The entrance gate is clogged with filth, broken drainage pipes cause sewage to flood the ground floors and there is a foul smell emanating from the area. These families rue that that they have been living in insanitary conditions.
Sewage and overgrown bushes cover the main road of the housing board complex. Photos by writer

Despite numerous protests and roadblocks, their demand for promised plots remains unmet. Initially, 753 out of over 3,000 families were moved to these flats temporarily, following a High Court order to vacate Thed as the Archaeology Department had claimed its 85 acres of land, which mandated the government to provide permanent housing for the displaced.The living conditions in these flats are poor. The entrance gate was clogged with filth, broken drainage pipes cause sewage to flood the ground floors and there was a foul smell emanating from the area.

Prabhudayal (70), who was born in Thed, lamented losing his home and living in unsanitary conditions that make children ill. Vakeel Kumar, another resident, described their seven-year ordeal as living in hell, with no response from the authorities despite several appeals. The area was also plagued by drug addicts, causing insecurity and fear among the residents. Local politicians had only offered false assurances during the elections, he said.

Rani, another resident, recounted how drug addicts killed her husband and even after two years, the police had not apprehended the culprits. Many had rented out their flats and left due to the worsening condition, turning the area into a haven for the drug addicts and criminals.

Mukesh Rani, a resident, highlighted daily fights among residents due to filth and stench, with whatever they earned going towards medical expenses. During a visit by former Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar in October 2023, the administration strategically arranged his programme to avoid showing the filth and he left after giving empty assurances. Mukesh now demanded the promised plots for the residents so that they could live peacefully and escape these conditions.

She further said, “Over 2,500 people are still living in Thed because they have seen our condition and know that we haven’t received our plots yet. If they are given the plots, they will also vacate the place. However, since we are the ones living in hell, they are not vacating the place there.”

MP Kumari Selja has written to Union Culture and Tourism Minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat, demanding permanent housing for the displaced families. Selja said over 700 families had been living temporarily in HUDA sector flats for seven years without permanent housing and basic amenities. She assured them that a permanent housing arrangement would be made when the Congress government came to power in the state.

Meanwhile, Deputy Commissioner RK Singh said the state High-Power Land Committee had approved the allocation of the plots for these families. The government had sanctioned Rs 11 crore for the project and plots would be given to the families in Salarpur, Mohammadpur and Nattar villages. The work was expected to be completed very soon.

#Sirsa


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