Following release of funds for rehabilitation of disaster affected villages, more villages seek measures for protection, rehabilitation in Pithoragarh.
Pithoragarh, Aug 6
Following sanction of money by the Uttarakhand state government to rehabilitate disaster affected families of Bangapani, Munsiyari and Dharchula sub-divisions of Pithoragarh district, the people who have lost land and houses situated on the bank of river Gori are also demanding compensation and sound measures to protect their hearths and homes.
Over a dozen villages of Bangapani sub-division in Gori river valley are facing erosion on the banks of the river over the years which has even threatening the village.
“After 2013 natural disaster, over 15 acres of cultivable land of Bhadeli village of Gori valley has been wiped out by river waters and the water level is just 300 meters away from the residential buildings, “said Hira Chiral former gram pradhan of Chauna village under which Bhadeli village falls.
District Disaster Management Office of Pithoragarh has informed that the state government has released funds to rehabilitate a total of 332 disaster affected families of eight villages of three sub- divisions of the district by giving rs. 4.25 lakh to each affected family.
.”The amount includes Rs. 4 lakh for house construction, Rs.15000 for construction of cowshed and Rs.10000 as rehabilitation,”said Bhupendra Singh Mahar, District Disaster Management Officer of Pithoragarh.
According to Mahar, while over 100 disaster hit families of over 8 villages of 3 sub- divisions have been compensated for rehabilitation, 20 new villages have come up as sensitive villages in last two years.” The proposal to rehabilitate these new villages will be prepared after geological survey of the villages,” said the disaster management officer.
According to disaster management officer, the state government has released a new rehabilitation policy for disaster hit families on December 31, 2021, under which every separate family living under one roof will now he treated as separate family and given separate amount for rehabilitation.
The number of families, to whom compensation amount has been sanctioned, include,17 from Kultham, 110 from Dhapa,22 from Tanga, 17 from Gururi,54 from Josha, and remaining from other villages of the district.
” The state government will also provide land for construction of house at safer places if the affected family is landless,” said DDMO.
Dilip singh, a farmer of Chori Bagar village of Gori valley saids that due to absence of protective walls at the bank of river, over 10 acres of his land and two other farmers namely Madho Ram and Diwani Ram, was washed away by river floods in 2017.”The river is flowing only 100 meters from our houses since 2017 monsoon,” said Dilip Singh.
According to Pithoragarh District Magistrate Ashish Chauhan, the villages of Gori valley in Bangapani sub-division are situated on the bank of river while other main rivers flowing in the district are far away from fields or residential houses.” We have sent proposals of constructing protective walls along Gori river banks to protective villagers from further land erosion and waiting it’s approval from state government,” said the DM.
The villages that are facing wrath of Gori river are Gattabagar, Chami, Lumti, Mori,Mankot, Toli, Choribagar, Umargara, Phagawa, Devi Agar Bhadeli and Muwani Rawani.” The families of Govind Ram, Hayat Ram, Harimal Ram and Bharan Ram have became landless after their fertile land near Gori river was swallowed by the river in 2013 floods,” said Madan Ram Sanyal, a political leader and resident of Umargara village of Gori valley.
Sunita Devi, gram pradhan of Tanga in Gori valley, said that eight villagers had died in her village due to erosion and landslides and falling of boulders near River Gori in 20202. “ We want all 25 families of Tanga to be rehabilitated,” she demanded.
Bhagat Singh Mehra, former Gram Pradhan of Mawani Rawani said that the land on the banks of river Gori has been witnessing erosion by river since 1996 onwards, but the proposals of security measures to protect villages by government are still waiting for technical approval.
Munni Devi, Gram Pradhan of Gharuri Mankot said that the erosion by the river has been going on since 2013 onwards and if security measures are not taken than several villages will be wiped out in near future.
Pradeep Kumar, a Pithoragarh based geologist said that the villages on the banks of Gori river are situated on the sand carried by river from thousands of years, and since sand has been accumulated in the middle of the river, it has changed its’ course towards the villages causing erosion of fertile agriculture land.
“ The protection walls will have to be dug deep as there is no hard rocks on the river bed. Moreover dredging of river bed to remove silt and sand could be another step to stop the river from flowing towards the villages,” he added.