Independence Day: What Kind of Freedom, Eight Families Living in a Cave with Women and Children for Four Years – What kind of freedom, eight families living in a cave with women and children for four years


Saroj Pathak, Amar Ujala, Bilaspur
Updated Sat, 15 Aug 2020 12:44 PM IST

Family forced to live in cave
– Photo: Amar Ujala

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Even though the country is celebrating 74th Independence Day today, there are about eight families living in the cave for the last four years on the border of Mandi and Bilaspur in Himachal. Not only men, women and children are also leading life like tribals. The government and the district administration are not even aware of this. The Central and State governments also have several schemes for the landless and the homeless. Despite this, there were no attempts to remove them from the cave.

Despite having houses and land, they are homeless today, because their houses and land were destroyed due to landslides due to the construction of lake of Kolbandh project. In the last four years, the matter arose in front of two governments, but their problem was not resolved. Kolbandh lake was formed in the year 2014-15. Then in 2016, there was a landslide in Kandi village of Dhaniyara Panchayat of District Mandi and the above 8 families became homeless in this disaster.

The then public representatives completed the formalities by administering 50-50 thousand rupees to the affected families in the name of immediate relief, but did not take care of them thereafter. The administration made temporary arrangements for some of these people to stay in the blessed school building, but could not provide them permanent accommodation. They cook in the cave, they sleep there.

On the other hand, about 40 families of the villages of the same panchayat, Samoul, Kandi, Mandla, Ropadu, Swaid and Badich villages are migrating to a safe place after raising the lake and raising their families. Former Congress MLA Sohan Lal Thakur said that the landslide occurred during the time of the Congress government. I myself had assisted the people by sending them to the SDM on the spot. He will take up the matter with the government.

Sundernagar administration and NTPC had a spot visit in the year 2018. After the visit, he had reported to the Deputy Commissioner Mandi that a scientific investigation would be conducted to find out what caused the landslide. That report has not been processed for a year and a half. One of the affected families went to the High Court, after which the administration stopped interfering in it.-Rahul Chauhan, SDM, Sundernagar

The matter is in court. The team of the State Geological Wing will submit the report to the High Court. After that, the instructions from the High Court to NTPC management will be acted upon. – Praveen Ranjan Bharti, Public Relations Officer NTPC Kolbandh

Even though the country is celebrating 74th Independence Day today, there are about eight families living in the cave for the last four years on the border of Mandi and Bilaspur in Himachal. Not only men, women and children are also leading life like tribals. The government and the district administration are not even aware of this. The Central and State governments also have several schemes for the landless and the homeless. Despite this, there were no attempts to remove them from the cave.

Despite having houses and land, they are homeless today, because their houses and land were destroyed due to landslides due to the construction of lake of Kolbandh project. In the last four years, the matter arose in front of two governments, but their problem was not resolved. Kolbandh lake was formed in the year 2014-15. Then in 2016, there was a landslide in Kandi village of Dhaniyar Panchayat of District Mandi and the above 8 families became homeless in this disaster.

The then public representatives completed the formalities by administering 50-50 thousand rupees to the affected families in the name of immediate relief, but did not take care of them thereafter. The administration made temporary arrangements for some of these people to stay in the blessed school building, but could not provide them permanent accommodation. They cook in the cave, they sleep there.

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