Victims of 2009 floods sink deeper in miseries

Victims of 2009 floods  sink deeper in miseries

Miseries seem to be piling up on the victims of the floods in Tungabhadra river in 2009. Four years on, thousands of people rendered homeless in Harapanahalli, Halavagalu and Garbhagudi of Harapanahalli taluk in the district are still waiting for a roof over their heads.

Worse still, homes constructed by the government for the affected under the ‘Aasare’ project have been appropriated by those not eligible.

The residents of the Kote Anjaneya, Ippi Thota, Rahmath and Goravina Thota areas on the outskirts of Harapanahalli had lost their dwellings to the water overflowing from the Aiyyanahalli tank and London Halla ponds.

Subsequently, the ‘Aasare’ project was taken up for implementation at three places in the taluk at a cost of Rs 1.3 lakh per housing unit. A total of 450 houses were to be constructed in Harapanahalli, 260 in Halavagalu and 170 in Garbhagudi. The victims complain that 50 per cent of these houses have gone to those not eligible for them.

Jaitun Bi, who resides in a dilapidated hut in the Kote Anjaneya Layout and earns the livelihood of herself and her children by rolling beedies, complains that Aasare houses had been allotted to those having one already.

To make matters worse, the authorities reportedly asked Bi, who has lost her husband, to pay money if she wants the house. “I struggle to ensure two square meals for the family. Where shall I get the money from,” she asks.
When the residents are already living such precarious lives, another flood stares them in the face. Large amounts of water are being released from the Bhadra reservoir and the river water levels are constantly on the rise. The Aiyyanahalli tank and London Halla ponds are already showing signs of overflowing once again, sending shivers down the spines of the flood-affected of 2009. The roads to the villages are under water.

Moorthachari, Gayathramma and Mallamma, other victims of the floods, allege that the local representatives are recommending allotment of Aasare houses for their supporters, even though they are not eligible. The district administration is doing nothing more than issuing flood alerts, they complain.

Local residents say that the roofs of the Aasare houses constructed in Harapanahalli by the Zilla Panchayzwhile those built in Halavagalu and Garbhagudi by the Land Army are of a better quality. 

Manjunath, president of the Taluk Nomads’ Association, alleged that sub-standard sand and cement had been used in the construction of the houses, forcing the residents to vacate them.

Davangere Deputy Commissioner S S Pattanashetti refuted the allegations, saying all those deserving had been allotted houses. The list of beneficiaries had been drawn up only after a proper survey, he said. Action would be taken if instances of those not eligible getting Asare houses are brought to his notice, he said.
DH News Service 

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