Janardhana Reddy faces victims' ire

Five days after the torrential rains, water level in the villages of Siruguppa taluk has finally receded. The life in the taluk is limping back to normalcy. However, the anger against the government machinery among those affected by the flood is mounting.
Villagers of Hachholli in the taluk gheraoed Tourism and Bellary district in-charge minister Janardhana Reddy, during his visit to the flood-hit areas on Sunday. Similarly, villagers of Kudadarahal took Tahsildar K Narasimha Nayak to task for not taking up relief works in the village.

No aid from State

When this reporter visited the worst-affected villages –– Bagewadi, Kududarahal, Sridharagadde, Honnarahalli, Chikka Bellary, Hachcholli and Maturu, it was seen that the district administration had neither set up a relief camp nor taken measures to provide basic amenities in these villages. However, the district administration claims that it has set up 25 relief camps in the taluk.

All that the flood-affected people have been getting are food packets and clothes offered by various non-government organisations.
Tahsildar Narasimha Nayak, admitting to the failure, shed tears in public as the affected people wanted a clarification from him for not visiting the village in the last three days.

Unkept promise

Interestingly, Janardhana Reddy visited the villages along with a platoon of Karnataka State Reserve Police following him throughout the journey. As the public in Huchchalli began criticising the district administration and the minister for not getting relief material, he left the place promising food packets and clothes at the earliest. However, till late in the evening it was not fulfiled.

The State government had stopped dropping food packets from helicopters. However, in Siruguppa taluk ‘dropping’ of food packets continued. Of course not from helicopters, but from trucks instead. The district administration staff resorted to throwing the packets from a moving truck in order to prevent the public from thronging at the vehicles. Only those who could run behind the vehicle could catch packets. And, the rest had to suffer without food.

Yallamma, a mother of six children in Sridhargadde village, alleged that for the last two days none in the village got any sort of assistance from the administration. No officer had visited them.

K P Nabi Rasool of Hachcholli said the villagers were in dire need of shelter. Of the 1,200 houses in the village, 1,000 were damaged. The people could not return to their houses as they could collapse at any time. “We need shelter. But those who repeatedly visited our village during the election have no courtesy to listen to us anymore,” he said.

Bellary Rice Mill Owners Association had taken initiative to provide food to the affected. N G Basavarajappa, president of the association, said that for the last two days the association had spent 60 quintal of rice. “We will make arrangements for the next two days also,” he said. Satya Sai Organisation based in Bellary has made arrangements for providing medicine in the villages.

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