Solan: In Kenduwal village, Sandholi Panchayat, the Municipal Council of Baddi created a dumping ground right next to the houses of five Gujjar families two years ago. As a result, the families are now forced to live in inhuman conditions.
In addition to the foul smell from the garbage that makes normal breathing difficult, children, elderly, and cattle frequently fall ill because of the unhygienic conditions of the dump.
In the last two years, 20 cows and four 4 buffaloes have died because of this dump,
says Gulam Nabi from Kenduwal village.
The gravest of all issues is that the path meant for commuting (right of way) used by the five families having 30 members has been obstructed because of the dump. The trucks of MC often break their water-pipelines and garbage completely chokes the path.
As a matter of concern, the affected families alleged that the issue was brought to the notice of the administration several times but no action ever came.
Today, these families met the Sub-Divisional Magistrate (SDM) at Nalagarh to file a formal complaint about the intolerable living conditions created by this dumping and appeal for immediate action to relocate the dump. The SDM in response took the statement of the aggrieved parties and has said he will take suo-moto action in the matter.
The aggrieved families also submitted copies of the complaint to the Deputy Commissioner, HP Pollution Control Board, and Police Station.
In the recent days, due to rains, the path was submerged in obnoxious smelling mucky water due to the garbage dump and the issue was raised many times with the office of Municipal Council.
The Municipal Council assured the families by saying that the path would be repaired.
With a great difficulty, on July 6, the Municipal Council arranged a truck of sand to raise the path. After which another truckload of sand was needed to complete the job but in the meantime, another garbage truck arrived. To prevent the truck from causing damage to the path, women tried to stop the truck from advancing.
Over this, the truck driver, labour managing garbage got into a heated argument with us. They used foul language and did not pay heed to what we had to say which led to a clash between us. We want to make it clear to the administration that we do not have any issues with the labourers, but the dumping of tonnes of garbage in front of our homes is insensitive inhuman and that is what our complaint is about,”
The families said the police has registered an FIR against them to pressurise them.
Himdhara, a group that is working on environmental issues, has arrived at Baddi to undertake a fact-finding task.
According to Manshi Asher, member of Himdhara, such dumping of urban waste is a gross violation of the Environmental Protection Act. Based on the Act, in 2016, the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change had brought out the ‘solid waste management rules’.
As mentioned in the rules, a solid waste dumping site has to be at least 200 meters away from the place of habitation. Also, floodplains of rivers cannot be chosen as dumping site either.
It is also clearly mentioned in the Solid Waste Management Rules that the site of the landfill should be fenced and should have a gate with a concrete path inside it. The Municipal Council has violated this rule as well, said Manshi.
Can you imagine how they’re living right next to dumping site as huge as five acres?
The Gujjar community belongs to the Scheduled Tribe category in our country. They rear cattle, which grazes on public lands and make a living by selling the milk. The complaint filed, which was submitted to the Superintendent of Police and the Pollution Control Board as well also states that:
“The Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe (Prevention of Atrocities) Act 1989” section 3 subsection 1 (b) states that in the vicinity of places of residence of people belonging to scheduled caste/tribe, disposing fecal matter, garbage, animal carcass or other obnoxious substances whereby unease is caused to them is a punishable offence. Officials not responding to complaints made by members of the SC/ST community are also flouting the law.
We are making a report on this matter and sending it to all administrative offices of the State as well as the Centre,
said the members of Himdhara.
The Gujjars are not the only ones troubled. Since last 6 months, villagers from Malpur have complained about the dumping ground as well as the Common Effluent Treatment Plant also located in Kenduwal, due to the smell. It is shocking that the pollution control board hasn’t taken any steps in this regard.
The families have warned that if no action was taken regarding their grievance, they would be left with no other option but to approach the court.
Video: Three Shimla MC Workers Caught Dumping Garbage in Forest, Suspended After Video Shared on Twitter
Shimla- Three sanitation workers of Shimla Municipal Corporation were suspended after a video was posted on social media showing them disposing of a large amount of garbage in a forest area. The incident became an embarrassment for SMC as the video went viral on Twitter and reached Central officials and green activists.
As per the local who recorded the video, on November 22 at about 1:30 PM; he saw garbage being dumped in the forest near SMC parking on the cart-road.
A green activist of Healing Himalaya organization picked the video on Twitter and brought it to the attention of the officials of the Centre government. The organization tagged BK Agarwal, Secretary Lokpal, Govt. of India and IFS officer Parveen Kaswan.
It is so disheartening to see my work being undone near lift Shimla,this is one of the most dirtiest sight and now I know why.
We have been working very very hard to keep up the ever growing population & pollution.#shimlalift@RandeepHooda @deespeak @ParveenKaswan @B_K_AGARWAL pic.twitter.com/BX5FaQmoVp
— healing himalayas (@healinghimalaya) November 23, 2019
Sanjeev Gupta, Secretary, ISCS, Home Ministry, also responded on the video and Tweeted,
“An absolute shocker. Stern action should be taken against these reckless murderers of the environment (most likely working for Shimla MC). Will take it up with the State Govt & Shimla MC.”
It’s pertinent to mention that Healing Himalayas had undertaken a cleaning campaign in the said area a few months back. The organization in its Tweet said,
“It is so disheartening to see our work being undone near lift Shimla.”
The SMC was directed to take action. It was found that the sanitation workers of the SEHB society were dumping about two tons of garbage collected from the lift area during one of its cleanliness campaigns.
However, instead of carrying it up to the road for transportation, they dumped it into the forest. The workers were identified from the video and suspended.
According to the Commissioner, SMC, Pankaj Rai, the Area Supervisor and Sanitary Inspector have been served show-cause notices.
Baddi Dumping Yard Case: Blow to Solan Admin as HC Directs Relocation of Family, Construction of House, Cow-Shelter
Solan-As a blow to the trickery of District Administration, Solan, and the Baddi-Barotiwala-Nalagarh Development Authority (BBNDA), the Himachal Pradesh High Court on November 21, 2019, gave a big relief to the families forced to live in inhuman conditions in Baddi’s Kenduwal. These two authorities had been reluctant to relocate or compensate victim families. They went to the extent of not following the orders of the court. In fact, this case has highlighted the hypocrisy of the government over its own Swachh Bharat campaign.
However, hearing the petition, a bench of Chief Justice L.Narayana Swamy and Justice Jyotsna Rewal Dua on november 21, 2019, passed orders directing the Deputy Commissioner, Solan, to identify a piece of land to relocate the family, provide them with a house, electricity and water connection, and consider construction of cow-shelters for their cattle to the satisfaction of the families. The court also appointed Rajnish Maniktala, a senior advocate as Amicus Curiae to assist the court in this petition. Further, the implementation of Solid Waste Management Rules in the entire state has come under the ambit of this petition, which was filed by Shimla-based Advocate, Deven Khanna.
The BBNDA and Baddi Municipal Council had turned the site at Kenduwal into an illegal dumping yard. The Authority was supposed to construct a Solid Waste Treatment Plant years ago, however, instead, it simply created a dumping yard and violated several environmental laws and guidelines. As per the petition, none of the 36 Conditions mentioned in the Environment Clearance letter are fulfilled by BBNDA. Such grieve environmental violation under the patronage of the state government is a matter of huge concern for the state.
The houses of about 32 members of four families belonging to Gujjar families were located at this site. These families had been living here for over three decades. Creating dumping yard around their habitat had made their lives unbearable as well as unsafe due to unhygienic conditions arising due to this illegal dumping yard.
These families had been running from pillar to post seeking relief. However, none of the state government bodies, district administration, police, or the BBNDA authority listened to their grievance. Eventually, Suleman, on behalf of these families, approaches the court to file a PIL.
About six months ago, the court had eventually asked the Authorities to relocate the family to a piece of land that is located at a considerable distance from the dumping yard.
However, BBNDA defied the orders of the court and, in a bid to allegedly threaten the families, it demolished their cow-sheds last month. Over 80 cattle, including about 40 cows and newborns, were left shelter-less to face winters under the open sky. The families had alleged that officials trespassed and demolished their cow-sheds without showing any orders from any authority. Instead, the officials used police force, including armed jawans, to scare them. Himachal Watcher had published a story regarding the same along with a video of the said demolition being carried out.
Surprisingly, none of the other media (dailies and regional news portals) covered this news. In fact, media hardly showed any interest in this petition ever. It appears, belonging to minority community, the suffering of these Gujjar families did not appeal to anyone except the State High Court.
Through their advocate, Khanna, the families have also filed a contempt petition in the court, which is pending.
Meanwhile, hearing the main petition, the said orders were passed by the court.
“In the peculiar facts and circumstances of the case, we permit the petitioner to approach the Deputy Commissioner Concerned by filing a separate application with a prayer for relocation of his house to the extent of land, which is in his occupation, to any other suitable area to the satisfaction of the petitioner,”
the bench said in its order.
“If such approached by way of application is made to the DC concerned, the said Authority shall consider his request and pass appropriate order at the earlier,”
the bench said.
“It is stated by the learned counsel for the petitioner that the cow-shed, having cattle, was demolished. For this purpose, DC concerned to also look into the matter while considering the application of the petitioner for relocation/construction of house/ow-shed as well as providing electricity and water connection for the decent living of the petitioner,”
the bench directed the DC referring to the act of demolishing petitioner’s cow-shelter.
It’s pertinent to mention that when previously contacted by HW, the DC, Solan, had termed this as a case of encroachment, and had said that these families are not eligible for relocation as they are not covered by any such policy. Considering the indifference of the district administration, the current order has come as a blow to it.
The next hearing has been scheduled for December 16, 2019.
CBI Probe in Kotkhai Gudia Case Under Scanner, Forensic Report Suggests Involvement of More Than One Person
Shimla-Gudia Nyay Manch has demanded fresh probe into the ill-fated 2017 Kotkhai Gudia rape and murder case after new revelations were made in the recent hearing in the case.
The case was closed by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) team after booking and arresting a woodcutter for the said crime with a conclusion that it was not a gangrape and only one person was involved. The turn of events left the family of the 16-year-old victim and the people of the state stumped and unsatisfied. Media reports had also challenged the probe.
While CBI claimed to have solved the case after eleven months of investigation, hardly anyone was convinced that a woodcutter could have possibly committed this crime and managed to fool CBI and bribe nine police personals including IG, SP, and DSP to frame wrong people.
The accused police officials, who were booked for the custodial killing of Suraj – one of the six suspects allegedly framed by them, were defending someone, the public suspected. There were many other questions which remained unanswered thus the CBI’s claim failed to convince anyone that justice was done to Gudia.
After a silence of about one year, the inquiry conducted by the CBI is in the public court. During the hearing of the case of custodial death at Chandigarh-based CBI court, forensic experts claimed that there is a possibility that more than one persons were involved in the rape and murder of Gudia.
These forensic experts – HV Acharya, Assistant Director, Forensic Science Laboratory, Gandhinagar, and Hemangi Shah Assistant Director, Forensic Psychological Division, Directorate of Forensic Science, Gandhinagar- had conducted polygraph and Brain Electrical Oscillation Signature Profiling (BEO) tests on the five accused – Rajinder Singh, Lokjan, Deepak, Ashish Chauhan, and Subhash Singh.
During this hearing, they were cross-questioned by the defense counsel, Atvinder Singh.
Singh asked Dr Acharya if he still stands by his observation that the crime in Gudia was conducted by more than one person, Acharya said “Yes” as an affirmative response. Dr Shan also supported Acharya.
A joint observation report was compiled by the two experts and submitted to the CBI.
While their report clearly said that no role of these five accused was observed in Gudia case. Their report had also said that no role of Rajinder was observed in killing of Suraj.
Moreover, the report of these experts has also observed that there was “definite police effort to defend someone”.
The experts stood by their observation that these six accused were arrested and tortured without any direct evidence.
The Gudia Nyay Manch is up in arms again against CBI for an allegedly botched up investigation in the case. The Manch said it would be staging fresh protest against CBI soon.
What is Kotkhai Gudia Case
On July 4, 2017, a 16-year-old girl, who was returning home from her school in Mahasu are of Kotkhai, Shimla, went missing. Her naked body was found in the forest of Halaila on July 6. As per the initial investigation by the police SIT, Gudia was gang-raped and then murdered. The SIT on July 13 arrested six persons claiming that they cracked the case.
However, the family and locals were not convinced that these six accused, five of which were laborers and daily wagers, had committed the crime. The pubic, as well as the media, wasn’t convinced with the theory given by the police SIT. On July 18, public outrage was witnessed after one of these accused was killed in the police custody while locked up at the police station, Kotkhai. The locals pelted stones on the police staff and compelled them to leave the station. The station was then set on fire.
Under huge pressure from the public, then Congress-led state government asked the CBI to investigate the case. By the end of August 2017, CBI had arrested nine police officials including the head of the SIT Zahur H Zaidi, IG, Southern Range, DSP, Theog, Manoj Joshi, and six others for the custodial killing of Suraj. Later, the CBI also booked then Superintendent of Police, Shimla, D W Negi.
In its charge-sheet submitted to the court, the CBI had said that all six accused were falsely framed by the SIT.
The CBI had filed a separate case to investigate rape and murder of Gudia. The CBI team investigated for next eleven months without any success, thereby, facing backlash from the state high court over delay in the investigation. Ultimately, disappointed with the CBI, the court questioned the competence of CBI and asked its Director to appear personally before it.
Immediately after this summon, CBI claimed to have cracked the case in which a woodcutter was arrested. The case was considered to be closed thereafter.
However, doubts remain over botched up CBI investigation in the case.
Himachal Scientist Conferred National Fellowship for Outstanding Work in Floriculture, Landscaping
Video: Girl Who Jumped from Bilaspur College Building Tells Why She Attempted Suicide
ITBP Head Constable from Himachal Among 6 Shot Dead by Own Colleague
Monkey Sterilization in Himachal Working, Farmers Feeling Relieved, Claims Forest Minister
HP Cabinet Decisions 2 Nov, 2019: Nod to Fill up 3636 Posts of Teachers, Cement Plant in Shimla, Sell Water of Yamuna River
Shocking Video: Elderly Woman in Himachal’s Mandi Branded ‘Dayan’ (Witch), Persecuted Mercilessly by Villagers
Cruelty Against Elderly Woman: Bail Plea of 24 Accused Rejected, Sent to 14-Day Judicial Custody
HPU Convocation: Students Condemn Behavior of HRD Minister & Anurag Thakur Who Refuse to Meet Them
Kinnaur-Ngari Corridor: An Argument for The Revival of The Western Himalayan Silk Route
Heavy Rain, Snow in Himachal, Yellow Alert Issued for Nov 15
HW Community2 months ago
Meet Labrador Jackie – Shimla’s Leopard Attack Survivor from the Viral CCTV Footage
Misc News/Press Release2 months ago
Video: Leopard in Shimla City Hunts Pet Dog, Caught on CCTV
HW Community1 month ago
Two Himachal Youngsters to Launch State’s First Hemp Start-up: An Online Market for Green Products
HW Community2 months ago
Kotkhai Custodial Death Case: Forced to Consume Liquor, Cannabis, then Tortured, Witness Tells Court
Misc News/Press Release2 months ago
Video: Road Accident on Manali-Kullu Highway Captured on CCTV, 1 Killed, 2 Injured
Misc News/Press Release1 month ago
Palampur Viral Video Case: Three Arrested, One Still at Large
Environment2 months ago
Shrikhand Mahadev Faces Garbage Crisis, IMF Team Collects 1900 kg Garbage During 12-Day Cleaning Campaign
Misc News/Press Release4 weeks ago
Shocking Video: Elderly Woman in Himachal’s Mandi Branded ‘Dayan’ (Witch), Persecuted Mercilessly by Villagers