Himachal rain: 53 families forced to abandon houses in Mandi district

Fifty-three families of Chhaprahan village in Gohar sub division in Mandi district have been forced to abandon their ancestral homes and live in tents for the past fortnight since cracks developed in houses after the spell of heavy rain on August 14.

Himachal Pradesh deputy chief minister Mukesh Agnihotri meeting landslide-affected families at Dhar Dhangar village in Dharamshala on Monday. (ANI Photo)

Also read: Himachal govt looking to restructure loans of people in disaster-hit areas: Sukhu

Chhaprahan panchayat head Dinesh Kumar said on Tuesday that the families have been staying in relief camps after cracks appeared in 36 houses. Forty-four gaushalas (cow shelters) have also been damaged in the recent rain and landslips.

A resident of the village, Ved Ram, 58, said: “Families have moved to safer places but we don’t know how long we will have to stay in tents. Children are going to school daily from the tent and senior citizens are going out in search of livelihood. This is a crisis and it’s not confined to our village. People in Thalout and Balh village of the district are facing a similar problem.”

Residents of Thalout village have been rendered homeless not only because of recent deluge but also because of the hill being dug up for building a tunnel nearby. Panchayat samiti member Baldev Thakur said the hill was sinking daily since the digging by the National Highway Authority of India to build the Modnarch tunnel. “The rain has accelerated the pace of sinking. After cracks of up to a foot appeared in the village, nearly 50 families left their houses for safer places. They have given up hope of returning now,” he said. Forty houses, 16 cowsheds and three temples are in danger.

Govind Ram, a resident, said: “Such is the fear that we have not even gone back to get our belongings. Three is no one to listen to our grievances.”

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