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Posted at: Sep 15, 2018, 1:14 AM; last updated: Sep 15, 2018, 1:14 AM (IST)

Muck flows down from hill, damages houses

Muck flows down from hill, damages houses
Houses damaged in a landslide near McLeodganj on Friday. Photo: Kamljeet

Lalit Mohan

Tribune News Service

Dharamsala, September 14

Heavy muck flowed down McLeodganj hill on Thursday night after heavy rain, causing damage to houses near the Kala Pul area on the Dharamsala-McLeodganj road. Sources here said the incident was caused due to illegal dumping of muck in a local stream. The muck was dumped behind the crate wall of stones constructed as check dam in the drains. Due to heavy rain, the crate wall gave way and the muck flowed down to the houses.

Sanjay Kumar, a resident of the area, while talking to The Tribune, said “At about 11 pm, suddenly, muck started flowing through my house. I called up the officials of the PWD, Irrigation and Public Health Department and Disaster Management Department for help. However, no one came to help us. My family and I had to stay in a private hotel at night as we feared muck might damage our house. It is only in the morning that the district administration sent JCB machines to clear the muck”.

Sandeep Kumar, Deputy Commissioner, Kangra, said he had visited the affected areas. He said while some people were alleging that a landslide was caused due to digging by a ropeway company while others were alleging that it was due to some digging by Tibetans. “I have asked the officials to look into the reasons for landslide. Appropriate action would be taken against those found responsible for illegal dumping of the muck”, he said.

SS Pathania, Project Director of Dharamsala Ropeways Ltd, denied that the muck was deposited by them in the natural drain. These were some private builders, who had deposited the muck in the drain, he said.

Entire McLeodganj hill is landslide prone. Geologists say that upper strata of McLeodganj hill comprises loose soil and small gravel. They are of the view that due to improper drainage water retention makes the upper soil crust heavy which leads to landslides.

In the present case also the people alleged that some natural drains were blocked due to illegal dumping of the muck and one such blocked drain breached, causing muck to flow into their houses.

The case has also brought to the fore the problem of illegal dumping of solid waste and muck in natural drains in the Dharamsala area.

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