Greater Noida storm destroys 150 houses, 1,000 rendered homeless
As many as 150 houses were destroyed and around 40 persons, including six children, were injured when a 30-second-long storm hit Alivardipur village near Hindon floodplains of Greater Noida on Thursday evening. The tempestuous storm, eyewitnesses said, rendered over 1,000 people homeless as their pucca homes were destroyed within seconds.
Vineet Jaiswal, superintendent of police (rural), said, “Around 7.30pm on Thursday, we received information that a few houses along the Pushta Road in Alivardipur village have fallen down. Multiple teams of policemen, ambulances, and fire tenders were rushed to the spot. Initially, the police team found 10-12 injured people and rushed them to various hospitals in Noida and Greater Noida. The rest were taken to hospitals later.”
Stating that those affected by the storm are not entitled to any compensation or rehabilitation, Dadri sub-divisional magistrate, Anjani Kumar, said, “The government can give compensation to those whose houses are legally made. All the houses which were demolished in the storm were built illegally and many of them were even new. We are in a dilemma regarding rehabilitation.”
The residents of the village, meanwhile, said they themselves started rescue operation soon after several residents were crushed underneath the piles of bricks.
Alimuddin, a 47-year-old daily wager, said, “I built by single-storeyed three-room house around 10 years ago. We were having supper in one of the rooms when we suddenly heard the winds gushing. Within seconds, bricks from our roof started falling on us. We somehow picked up our children, hugged them tight to save them.”
“However, my daughter Yasmin and her husband Tawaraq Ali sustained head injuries while trying to shield their children. They have been admitted to the nearby NIMS Hospital, where doctors have called their conditions serious,” he added.
Wasim Ahmad, a 22-year-old auto driver, said, “My father is handicapped and he cannot move from his bed on his own. When the storm came, he got trapped in a pile of bricks. I had to rush in and bring him out.”
According to the residents, the cluster of houses which were demolished in the storm were built on both sides of Pushta Road over the last two decades. There are varied accounts regarding who owns the land, but many claimed that their village is called Purana (old) Alivardipur village. The residents of the village are mostly daily wage labourers.
“Earlier, the entire Alivardipur village was on both sides of Pushta road. In 1977, there was a massive flood due to which more than half of the villagers had to relocate and the remaining villagers had to rebuild their houses at the same spot after few years. We call it Old Alivardipur village,” said Gaffar Ahmad (50), a differently abled man.