A colony of 30 houses built in 1998 by the then state government of the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) in Baras village in Fatehgarh Sahib is lying unoccupied even after 16 years of its construction.
Under an old scheme to provide houses to homeless people belonging to Scheduled Caste, the government had announced a colony of 30 houses. The foundation stone of the colony was laid down by the then president of the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) and Member Parliament late Gurcharan Singh Tohra on August 13, 1998.
Soon after the completion of the colony, the government asked the people to come and live there. However, no one turned up to live in those houses. The situation is same even after 16 years and no one is living there.
“The material that they (contractors) used to build the houses is of bad quality, which can be dangerous to the people living inside these houses,” said village people.
Chairman of the zila parishad Baljeet Singh Bhutta on Thursday said, “Every time we ask them about the reason, they say that a cemetery is located near that colony. However, we cannot grant new houses in another colony on this excuse.”
Build with an amount of `20 lakh on two acres of the village land, each house has two rooms, one kitchen and a small gallery. Hindustan Times team on its visit to the colony found that the situation there is getting worse.
The doors, windows and iron grills were stolen and the iron door frames have rusted. The houses were surrounded with long grass and there was no maintenance, water and electricity connection.
Mahinder Singh, a 48-year-old resident of the village, said, “Around 20 lakh were invested 16 years ago to build these houses, which was surely a very big amount at that time. Still, the houses are incomplete. Floor is still not plain. There are no arrangements for electricity and water supply.”
“No one wants to live in these houses which are made of low-quality material. The colony is adjacent to a cemetery which is another fear factor,” said Pritam Singh, a village resident.