Neriya tragedy: Victims yet to get compensation

  There was fierce noise following which people ran out of their houses in fear of the worse. It was a landslide. Next morning Ittadi village was flooded with people visiting to have a look at the phenomena.

Domba Gowda, one of the victims of the landslide only has the remains of the landslide and its bitter memory. As many as 60 coconut trees and several areca trees are buried under the loose mud that had flown into his plantation that night. He had lost the steady income that he would otherwise earn selling over 10 quintal areca and over 12,000 coconuts.

With five members depending on him, he says that god is the saviour.
Krishnappa Gowda, another grower has lost 300 areca trees. Janardhan Shetty has lost 1,000 areca trees and 75 coconut trees. Lokaiah, Narayana, Rukmaiah and many more too have their source of livelihood buried under the same loose mud. While these people just cannot stop shedding tears over their loss, many other farmers experience wrench at the heart with the sight of dried plantation, which was lush green and healthy till the landslide.

While the people of Ittadi are living life under fear and uncertainty, the Government has not yet come to the rescue of the victims after building castle of promises here.

Visits

During the last one and a half year, MLAs, MPs, State and Central Ministers have visited the region and have promised the victims of all sorts of help and assistance but the fact is that the victims are yet to receive compensation from the Government.

MLA K Vasanth Bangera, former MLA K Prabhakar Bangera, former minister K Gangadhar Gowda, former MP D V Sadananda Gowda, MLC Ganesh Karnik, District-in-Charge Minister Krishna J Palemar and many other dignitaries have met the victims and also shed ‘tears’ at their plight.

Media too covered these visits and reactions of these minister extensively but there ended the story.

After hogging publicity, the minister never came back and the victims had to find out ways to cope up with the reality. Tahshildar, AC, DC and high level officials have visited the area as well.

Today the local residents mock, that probably atleast couple of families could have been given compensation by accumulating the travel allowance, daily allowance and all other allowances these ministers and officials would claim for coming to Ittadi.

Instant compensation

The compensations that the victims received when they really needed it was from Shree Kshethra Dharmasthala Dharmadhikari Dr D Veerendra Heggade who gave Rs 10,000 to three families each and Rs 5,000 to two families each. Another Rs 4,000 was given to each family from Zilla Panchayat. Aniyur Co-operative Society too provided a sum of Rs 2,000 to each family. Neriya GP could provide nominal amount.

Survey

Recently a team from the Centre visited Ittadi and conducted survey for five days. Surprisingly, even the local Panchayat was not aware of the visit of the team. The team did its work and when the local residents questioned them about what they could expect, the team had supposedly said that their duty is to submit a report to the State.

Threat

The landslide occurred in 2008 and in 2009 loose mud came flowing into the plantation of Adam Beary and Mohommad destroying the crops. Neriya-Puduvettu road was cut off and various other damaged was caused. Now since the rainy season is approaching, villagers are worried as to what they may have to face this monsoon.

Solution

Villagers say that a retaining wall must be built along the road and drains must be laid from the hillock so that the water can flow swiftly. They say that if these works are undertaken on priority basis before onset of monsoon, then they can heave sigh of relief.

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