Sheikh Ashiq Hussian
Handwara, Feb 21: At least 200 families of Yamrad Bala, 16 km from Handwara have been forced to migrate to other locations after cracks developed in the land around their houses.
The cracks are widening constantly giving a nightmarish experience to the inhabitants.
Locals said that land was developing cracks, which were widening with each passing day.
They expressed fear that their residential structures may collapse anytime and result in devastation of life and property.
“The land is developing cracks and it appears that major soil erosion may wreak havoc to life and property,” said Habibullah Qureshi, a local.
The village is located at a slope and a non-metallic road connects it with the Handwara town.
“We have a joint family of 18 members living under a single roof. Fearing collapse of our house, we were forced to vacate the during night and stay with relatives in Magam since Monday,” Muhammad Ayoub, a local said.
Some families who muster courage to stay in their homes during nights said it was a nightmarish experience for them to spend nights amid increasing fear of widening of cracks.
Following a representation by locals about soil erosion in the village, a team from Soil Conservation Department accompanied by Tehsildar Handwara Ghulam Ahmad Khan today visited the village.
“Officials of Soil Conservation Department collected the sample of soil and sent it for testing. There is no need to panic and necessary measures will be taken for the safety of inhabitants of the village,” Khan said.
Most of the families vacated their houses and moved to safer location in nearby localities during nights.
“Staying for nights here may prove disastrous because land is developing more cracks at different places. For past two days, we have been moving to other locations to spend nights and avoid any eventuality,” a local Muhammad Sarwar said.
Most of the houses in the village are multi-storied wooden structures and only a small number of houses have a concrete foundation.
Locals appealed the district administration to take necessary steps for their safety on the basis of the report on soil testing.
“The soil may have turned marshy after many years. If that is the case, then the entire village may be forced to migrate to other areas for rehabilitation,” said another local Abdul Rashid Lone.
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