The Roofs are leaking. The floor is cracked. The walls are threatening to come apart. In the earthquake prone region of Mussorrie, red tape and slow moving legalities are putting lives and homes of thousands at risk.
Region:- Mussoorie Cantonment (aka Landour) in District Dehradun, Uttarakhand is one of India’s 63 cantonments. It was established in the 19th century as a colonial era military camp. Post-independence the area was declared a ‘cantonment’. The administration of the region does not fall under the Mussoorie Municipality. Instead a Cantonment Board has been set-up.
The Issue:- Over a 100 families living in the erstwhile labor quarters now live dangerously. Under Cantonment laws, people require a No Objection Certificate from the Cantonment Board to carry out even minor repairs and modifications. But as Community Correspondent Lakshmi Nautiyal reports from the ground, the Board is an apathetic, corrupt government body. The people’s pleas have been ignored for over 90 years.
Aiding this complacency is the fact the current Cantonment Board laws are colonial relics of the worst kind – out-of-date, anti-people and utterly lacking in practicality.