In a weird turn of events, a farmer from Punjab saved his house from demolition by shifting its location to a distance from the existing spot. Yes, you read that right. The farmer, named Sukhwinder Singh Sukhi, lives in Roshanwala village of Sangrur district in Punjab, where he moved his entire house to stop it from getting demolished because of an upcoming expressway project. With this, he is trying to save his dream house.
Sukhi’s house in Roshanwala village was coming in the way of the upcoming Delhi-Amritsar-Katra expressway project. Due to this, he came up with a ‘jugaad’ of shifting his house, which he had constructed in 2017. Sukhi decided to move his entire house 500 feet back from its existing location, which is a part of farmland through which the highway will pass.
The house, spread over 3,000-3,500 square feet, was constructed in 2017 for Rs 1.5 crore. While the Punjab government offered him compensation for demolishing his house, Sukhi decided to ‘shift’ it as it would take him another 2-3 years to rebuild a new house in another location.
Shiting process in progress
Currently, the shifting process of the entire house is under process, the work for which has been given to a private contractor. The shifting work is being carried out using lifting and moving technologies, and using them, the house has already been shifted 250 feet from its original position. The work is being carried out for the last two months, and going by the current pace of shifting 10 feet per day, it is safe to say that it will take two more months to complete the work. This entire shifting process is costing Sukhi some Rs 50 lakh.
Ever since this news broke out, Sukhi’s house has become a centre of attraction, with many people from nearby villages flocking to his house to see the work. The new Delhi-Amritsar-Katra expressway is passing through the states of Haryana and Punjab and the union territory of Jammu and Kashmir. Covering a distance of around 668 km, the project costs around Rs 37,525 crore and aims to reduce the travel time to 5-6 hours, which is currently around 11-12 hours. With this length of 668 km, this new expressway will become one of the longest expressways in the country.
How do house lifts and shifts work?
Well, the technology is not new. It has been around for decades and many in India have used it too. However, it is expensive and that is why most people prefer to break and build instead of shifting the whole house.
Experts dig 10 feet-deep trenches around the house to reach its foundation. Steel beams are then inserted into these openings and hydraulic jacks are put under the steel beams. The jacks provide movement to the house. These hydraulic jacks are linked together and are controlled through a central unit. The house is either placed on special dollies or is moved using the hydraulic jacks if the distance is not much.
At the new location, the house is put on a new foundation to ensure its structural integrity. There have been many houses in India that have been moved in a similar manner.