Ramban: Four families comprising 21 family members were relocated to safer places after their residential houses suffered partial damages due to land erosion in Ward No 4, Kunfer Chanderkote in Ramban district on Monday.
The affected families said that the residential houses suffered damages due to earth excavation carried out a few months ago by the contractor company of the National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) for developing the two-lane highway into a four-lane network in Kunfer Chanderkote.
A victim Sadiq Ahmad said that the landslide was caused due to the alleged negligence and unplanned cutting by the construction agencies of NHAI engaged in the four laning of NH-44. He said that on August 28 there was a torrential rain and next day morning the land above the under-construction NH-44 had started sliding slowly which kept on increasing, resulting in the cracks in his house of 4 rooms and 2 verandahs besides another house of his brother, Ikhtiyar Ahmad.
Another structure including a cowshed and kitchen besides a store were also partially damaged. The affected families on Monday along with their belongings started vacating their houses. Sidiq alleged that the NHAI authorities had been sitting on his file since February 2018 for the acquisition of his property and the payment of due compensation but the concerned engineers had ruled out any imminent damage to his property. “Had it been decided earlier and had I shifted to some suitable place, we would not have to face this situation today,” he said.
Locals said that the mountainous land started sinking on Saturday due to which their houses developed huge cracks and were on the verge of collapse as the land was sinking continuously. After receiving information Deputy Commissioner (DC) Ramban Mussarat Islam along with Revenue, Police, and representatives of concessionaire companies of NHAI rushed to the spot at Kunfer Chanderkote located alongside the Srinagar-Jammu national highway and evacuated all the four families to safer places.
The DC also inspected the site of the incident and directed the concerned Tehsildar to immediately submit a loss assessment report so that their relief case could be processed as per the norms. He assured the affected families of providing every possible help from the administration for rehabilitation. The DC also passed directions for providing immediate relief to the affected families on the spot besides providing tents and other necessary items to them. He also assured the families that their case of compensation for damage to their houses would be forwarded to NHAI.