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Families close to Pavagadh temple left in lurch as 5 homes, retailers demolished throughout renovation work

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THE LOCAL administration in Halol taluka of Panchmahals on Wednesday demolished 5 of the 400 commercial-cum-residential constructions positioned on the Pavagadh hill, near the Kalika Mata temple, which is present process renovation and facelift as part of the Gujarat Pavitra Yatradham Vikas Board tasks.
On March 26, the administration had served an eviction discover asking the 5 households to vacate the constructions they’ve occupied for over 5 a long time inside 5 days with none compensation within the provide.
The eviction discover was initially served in 2015 to all 400 households that make up a settlement on the hills of Pavagadh, a well-liked vacationer spot because of the presence of the goddess Kali temple. The households make dwelling promoting temple choices, imitation jewelry, meals and provision objects.
The 5 households that noticed their constructions being razed Wednesday, promote coconuts and different choices to devotees visiting the Kalika Mata temple and have been dwelling on the place for over 50 years.
“The act of the administration is inhuman especially in the time of such a pandemic when the cases are rising again. The notice was served to 400 families originally. We are all families, who settled here close to 50-60 years ago and the documentation for the same was done with the panchayats of that time. The district administration came in later and they tell us now that our agreements are invalid and this is government land,” Deepak, son of late Jagdish Giri Goswami whose shop-cum-residence was among the many constructions that have been demolished.

Deepak stated not one of the households have been well-to-do and now have been left and not using a roof over their heads. “We reside right here and earn our livelihood by devotees who go to the temple. They haven’t even provided us any compensation or rehabilitation. We usually are not against the demolition however the way in which we’ve got been rendered homeless.
They simply got here and advised us that we have to vacate inside two-three days as a result of the continuing development wants this space to assemble an area the place yagnas shall be carried out within the new advanced. We are blissful to provide our lands for it however they can’t throw us out like this. Carrying items down from the hill is just not a imply process that may be achieved inside a couple of days. We tried our greatest to fulfill native leaders and have the demolition postponed, however nobody got here to our help,” he stated.
When contacted, AN Katara, Mamlatdar of Halol stated the households weren’t entitled to compensation as a result of their constructions have been “encroachment” on authorities land. “The families have not even asked us for any compensation or hold such talks with the administration. The notice was served in 2015 and they had enough time to move out. As of now, we have only demolished the five structures because space is needed for the construction work to take place smoothly and for easy movement of visitors and construction materials. The decision on demolition of the other structures will be taken later,” Katara stated.
The Mamlatdar added the households must “make their own alternate arrangements” because the “administration had no provision for rehabilitating them”.