Solan, November 18
Three houses that were damaged in the torrential rains were razed as part of a demolition drive that started on Thursday in the Shamti area of Solan.
The affected families heaved a sigh of relief with the demolition of the damaged houses after four months of the disaster.
As many as 108 families were hit as their houses were damaged on July 10 after a 500-metre hill eroded in the area following heavy rains. As many as 80 houses were damaged with 30 houses completely damaged and 50 that suffered partial damages.
The drive would be carried out in the Shamti, Kothon and Sanhol areas of Solan.
“While 17 houses, which had been partially damaged, would be saved using retro-fittings, demolition of three other began earlier this week,” Solan Additional Deputy Commissioner Ajay Yadav said.
Applications for the allotment of three biswa land in the nearby areas have been received from land owners whose houses were totally damaged. The revenue authorities have identified land, which would be allotted to the affected families soon.
Two surveys have been undertaken by the experts from the Geological Survey of India and National Institute of Technology, Hamirpur. The experts have proposed slew of measures like retro-fittings to save the partially damaged houses and adopting several safety measures like limiting the number of floors in the buildings at the affected areas.
“Construction activities have been banned for two years in the affected areas. Residents who undertake fresh construction work after the removal of debris from their old houses would be permitted to construct only two storeys as a precaution,” Yadav said.
Notably, high-rise buildings having three to four storeys had suffered maximum damage due to land subsidence at Shamti and its periphery.
Additionally, eight awards have been granted under the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana where the residents would get Rs 1.65 lakh to construct new houses.
Besides, an estimate of Rs 92 lakh has been approved by the Project Appraisal Committee, headed by the Principal Secretary, for setting up a drainage system as a landslide mitigation measure at Shamti. The Jal Shakti Vibhag would implement this project.
Another project worth Rs 7.47 crore submitted by the Public Works Department (PWD) to undertake landslide mitigation and flood management in the area has also been approved by the committee.
Measures like rock-bolting and shotcrete are usually adopted to stabilise a slope. Bio-engineering techniques like coir geotextile and grass plantation as per the site conditions can be adopted to contain further damage in the Shamti area as per the preliminary project report submitted by the PWD.
“Both projects will now be placed before the technical appraisal committee for receiving the key financial sanction, which will pave the way for initiating the project. The detailed project reports of both projects are being prepared now,” Yadav added.
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