Not just land, many hopes sink in J&K’s Ramban


Pernote village declared as no-go zone, 74 families with over 500 souls homeless, leave belongings behind, move to safety

Amir Tantray

Jammu, Apr 29 : A natural tragedy has struck Pernote village of Jammu and Kashmir’s Ramban district where 74 families were forced to leave their belongings and homes on the mercy of God without knowing what will happen to them in the near future.

Their houses have been completely damaged after a six to seven kilometer long portion of a mountain is continuously sinking leading to excessive damage to the property and ecology.

According to the news agency—Kashmir News Observer (KNO), 74 families with over 500 souls have been directly affected by the sinking and most of the families have been relocated to community hall in Maitra area of Ramban and some have been placed in a safer place in the Pernote area in tents. But as the rain continues, these tents were damaged and those people are also being relocated to Maitra.

On April 25 (Thursday) people noticed that their houses are developing cracks and when they started enquiring they found that the entire village was sinking, which forced them to leave in search of safer places.

The only road link from district headquarters Ramban to Sangaldan and Gool areas of the district got snapped and with felling of two towers, the power supply to the subdivision Gool also got damaged.

The district administration was immediately informed by the locals and they rushed to the spot to assess the situation arising out of the unprecedented event.

Talking to the KNO, Additional Deputy Commissioner (ADC) Ramban, Varunjeet Charak, looking after the situation and camping in the area, said that the entire area has been declared a no-go zone and nobody is being allowed to move towards the area. “The situation is unprecedented and is not in anybody’s control. The teams of National Disaster Relief Force (NDRF) and Union Territory Disaster Relief Force (UTDRF) are on the spot to tackle the situation but as the area continues to sink, no immediate action can be taken at the damaged site,” he informed.

The Pernote village is situated around seven kilometers from DC Office Ramban on Gool-Sangaldan road and the damaged portion is around six to seven kilometers in height and two to three kilometers in width. The sinking started from the bottom, which is around 50 meters from the river Chenab.

According to the officials the area is continuously sinking and one evening if the sinking is recorded 10 meters, the next morning it becomes 20 meters. The area has loose soil with minimal rocks and water is also present inside which was witnessed by the officials as well.

A team of geological experts from New Delhi has taken the samples of the soil and has assessed the situation. ‘The team is expected to submit their report soon and this will give us an idea as to why the area is sinking and what measures we need to take to stop it,” the ADC said.

Due to the sinking of the land, road connectivity and electricity supply to Gool sub-division was damaged and it was after three days that electricity supply was restored and a road from Digdol area was opened for light motor vehicles.

“For heavy vehicles, we are considering allowing trucks and other heavy vehicles from the Mahore area of Reasi district to bring essential items. At present there is no dearth of essential commodities in the area but still supply will be restored soon,” the ADC added.

But as the area has witnessed heavy rains since last night, administration has asked people to stay away from the area and nobody is being allowed to move beyond Maitra—(KNO)


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