Kullu, September 5
Residents of Malana village, known for having the oldest form of democracy in the world, do not want their village to be connected with road facility as per the orders of their deity Jamlu Devta (Jamadagni Rishi).
Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur had announced Rs 1 crore for the road and appealed to the villgers to cooperate in its completion during a visit to the village on November 12, 2021. He had gone there to meet 36 families affected by a major fire disaster in the village on October 27. As many as 16 houses were gutted in the fire and the CM had stated that the village will be connected with road within six months.
Funds were approved last year
- The Chief Minister had announced Rs 1 crore for the road and appealed to the residents to cooperate in its completion during a visit to the village on November 12, 2021
- He had gone there to meet 36 families affected by a major fire disaster in which 16 houses were gutted
- However, the residents refused to give land to the PWD saying that they always obeyed their deity and the deity did not want their area to be connected by a road
- However, if the government wants, it can build a ropeway, they said
However, the residents refused to give the land to the team of the PWD which was there for survey of the road. Villagers said they followed every order of their deity and the deity did not want their area to be connected by a road. However, if the government wants, it could build a ropeway, they said.
The villagers have their own rules and regulations and the decision taken by the deity, through his oracle, is considered final. They believe that if someone does not obey the order of the deity, then the punishment is not given by the law, but by the deity Jamlu.
Deity’s kardar (caretaker) Brestu Ram said that if the road was built up to the village, then everyone would have easy access to the village which the deity did not like. Malana panchayat president Raju Ram said that the villagers were demanding that a ropeway, instead of the road, should be constructed, that too a little away from the village.
Tapri Devi, a villager, said that construction of the road had been denied by the deity and the government was requested to connect the village with a ropeway. Another resident Sant Ram said that the orders of the deity are of paramount importance to the villagers.
Malana village is not connected by road. A road was constructed by Malana hydel project but this does not connect the village. There have been major fire incidents in the village in the recent past and the people have suffered huge losses due to inability of fire tenders to reach the village.
Kullu PWD Superintending Engineer KK Sharma said that residents had refused to provide land for the road. Public representatives have been urged to convince the villagers about the importance of road connectivity. If they refuse again, then its report will be sent to the state government, he added.
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