Barons breach 'Aasare' promise

Ban effect

Still a pipe dream: Houses constructed to relocate resident of low-lying villages in Siruguppa taluk, Bellary district. DH Photo

Several mining barons have reneged on their promise to construct houses for the flood-affected.

According to Deputy Commissioner A A Biswas, a few mining entrepreneurs, who had promised to construct 600 houses in the district, have shelved the project at the foundation level. They have been issued show-cause notices in April. If they refuse to continue the housing projects, the government will have to take over the responsibility.

Some more mining industrialists have stopped constructing houses half way as their names figured in the illegal mining scam and the government banned the export of iron ore. They too have been issued a final notice, the DC said.

Suffering continues

Meanwhile, the victims  — residents of 18 villages of Siru­guppa and Hoovinahadagali taluks on the banks of Tungabhadra — continue to suffer, bearing the scorching sun under the scalding metal-sheet roofs that strong winds would easily blow away.

They can only curse their fate for pinning their hopes on the promises of mining millionaires. Revenue Minister G Karunkar Reddy had said in April that 50,000 houses being constructed under the ‘Aasare’ scheme would be handed over by May 15. He had said construction of 9,000 houses would be delayed. However, the deadline has now been deferred to July. All the villages in the lower basin of the Tungabhadra are being relocated.

The DC said five villages could be relocated now, and two more new locations would be ready by May-end. The work on 15 villages would be completed by June, he hoped adding that the work in the remaining three — undertaken by the mining barons — would be delayed ‘slightly.’ The DC said steps have been taken to provide basic amenities to the victims now dwelling in sheds.

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