DSS cautions Govt over Ramban, apprehends Chamoli like disaster

DSS president G S Charak addressing press conference in Jammu. —Excelsior/Rakesh
DSS president G S Charak addressing press conference in Jammu. —Excelsior/Rakesh

Excelsior Correspondent

JAMMU, Jan 24: Alarmed with the recent reports from Joshimath and in the backdrop of the Chamoli disaster earlier, Dogra Sadar Sabha (DSS) has appealed to the Lt Governor Manoj Sinha to constitute/ invite an experts’ committee to Ramban district at the earliest to review adhoc execution of works being carried out on haphazard road and rail alignments that are causing extensive damage to houses and agricultural lands of hundreds of residents of nearby villages, besides forest lands in the district under NH 44 National Highway Widening Project.
DSS cautioned that a man-made disaster, similar to the recent one in Joshimath in Uttrakhand, is staring to the Ramban district as unabated landslides and sinking agricultural and forest lands have caused cracks in the walls of hundreds of houses, shops, commercial establishments and temples in villages of Dalwas, Dharmond, Nashri, Kunfer, Peerah, Chanderkote, Karole, Nera, Seri etc.,
Talking to reporters former minister and president DSS, Gulchain Singh Charak said that residents of Chanderkote -Ramban area have been complaining of execution of Project works, not by the officially engaged company, but by the unqualified contractors to whom the job has been outsourced by it.
Charak appealed to the LG and the Union Highways and Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari to constitute an appropriate and empowered committee to have a detailed appraisal, unbiased supervision and monitoring of ongoing works to fix responsibility for losses and to accelerate provision of due compensation/ relief and permanent accommodation to adversely affected families. besides suggesting corrective measures.
DSS leader further said that huge debris (mulba) excavated with the use of heavy machinery and explosives for ruthless cutting of earth along steep mountain slopes during the road widening project is being thrown straightaway into River Chenab giving an open invitation to serious floods that may occur due to blockade of the flow of waters in Chenab. He pointed out that in Dalwas village, houses were seen with the earth cut and removed from about 60 ft vertically beneath the foundations, while the retaining walls constructed were quite insufficient.
Charak emphasised that if the slopes and fragile soils of the Shivaliks and Peer Panchal ranges of the Himalayas and the hills of Jammu region are not taken care of properly, the unplanned and ill executed road and railway line construction works through excessive use of explosives and JCBs will continue to bring greater disasters.
Among others who participated in the conference included Prem Sagar Gupta, GA Khawaja, Col Dr Virendra Sahi and others.