Ujjain : Over a two dozen houses and residential places of Mahakaleshwar Temple area have developed major cracks and inclinations due to land sliding in wake of tunnel excavation work. This incident not only shows lack of planning in the development works, but has also indicated a major mishap likely to be occurred in the future.

On visiting the Mahakal area on Friday afternoon, this correspondent found the input as correct that the residents and shop-keepers have been under fear psychosis. At least 25 houses of Mahakal Maidan area have developed cracks. These houses include house number 84, 135, 136, 137. Residents including Gaurav Tomar, Pankaj Tomar, Govind Ravati, Murli Nethnia and Dilip Potbhare informed that they had witnessed small cracks developed in their houses some four to five months ago, but they did not pay much attention. “But, when these small cracks got deep and wide, it increased our concerns and we started talking about it…later we carried out the repair works, but soon the repairs also developed cracks,” they said.

Moreover, the heads of three-storied hotels viz Hotel Shivam Palace and Hotel Shreedev Palace in front of Saraswati Shishu Mandir (school) have come close from their tops. “The top of our hotels have stuck gradually…initially there was a gap of about two feet between these top walls, which were struck in short time,” said one of the hotel owners, Ashok Bairagi by name. “We have informed about it to the Ujjain Municipal Corporation and also to the Mahakal police station, but no action was taken on our applications…fearing any untoward incident bound to happen, we dismantled three inch part of the walls and also razed the over-head water tank, but yet there is a slope of about 2.5 in the wall,” he added.

According to informed sources, all such unusual scenes have been evident owing to unplanned construction of a tunnel near the Mahakaleshwar Temple. The work was launched by the Municipal Corporation under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission at the cost of Rs 1.74 crore, which was later claimed to be a gift in view of Simhastha-2016 as it will provide a well-facilitated darshan entry to the temple. 20 ft deep land excavation work had been carried out near the temple and it led to land sliding and land movements in the area, as revealed by the sources. Moreover, the concerned engineers also gave permission to construct high rise buildings in the area despite knowing that it may lead to a tragedy.

On being contacted, structural engineer Sohail Qureshi said that he had visited the area in question some two months ago and found land embedment and cracks in the houses. According to him, such a situation arose due to weakness of land strength. On the other hand, Assistant Engineer of the Municipal Corporation and area in-charge Piyush Bhargava declined presence of any embedment or cracks developed in the houses of the area. “If there is such an unusual situation, then why not any such embedment or cracks have been noticed on the Administrative Building of Shri Mahakaleshwar Temple Management Committee or the Madhav Seva Nyas,” asked he.

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