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Reckless cutting of hills at Mandi village renders 3 families homeless

Eviction notices served on them after their residential building declared unsafe for living

Reckless cutting of hills at Mandi village renders 3 families homeless

Threat of collapse loomed large over a residential building.



Tribune News Service

Dipender Manta

Mandi, July 9

Three families of Basi village in Cholathara panchayat of the Dharampur Assembly constituency in Mandi district have become homeless due to the callousness of a company engaged in the construction of the Kotli-Dharampur-Hamirpur highway. Sarkaghat SDM Swati Dogra had served eviction notices to these families after their residential building was declared unsafe for living. The families of Shravan Kumar, an ex-serviceman; Sanjay Kumar, a serving soldier; and Rajiv Kumar have been issued eviction notices. They are victims of the company’s alleged negligent practices that have resulted in their residential building becoming uninhabitable.

Due to the reckless cutting of hills, the residential building has been rendered vulnerable and can collapse anytime. Shravan said, “The company undertook cutting of hills dangerously close to our residential building, without taking adequate safety measures. Some cuts in the hills exceeded 150 feet in height towards our house and over 250 feet on the other side. Despite multiple warnings, including formal letters, to the company and the SDM, nothing was done to stop the dangerous exercise. The company continued with cutting hills until the rains began recently.”

Former Zila Parishad member Bhupender Singh and farmer association representative Kartar Singh Chauhan visited the affected families and accused the Sarkaghat sub-divisional authorities of having an apathetic attitude. Bhupender said that Subedar Shravan Kumar had approached the authorities concerned six times about the danger posed to his house, that he had built with all his savings.

“This incident has sparked outrage among local residents, who are now rallying behind the affected families in their quest for justice. They are calling for swift and decisive action against the company to prevent similar incidents in the future. However, despite registration of an FIR last year against the company, no significant action has been taken so far,” said Bhupender.

The SDM said that the affected families had taken shelter in their relatives’ houses and the unsafe residential building had been vacated. She added that the case had been sent to the Mandi Deputy Commissioner for approval for the loss assessment of the property by a committee.

Authorities failed to take action

The company undertook cutting of hills dangerously close to our residential building, without taking adequate safety measures… Despite multiple warnings, including formal letters, to the construction company and the SDM, nothing was done to stop the work. — Shravan Kumar, victim

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