They reside under a hot tin roof

They reside under a hot tin roof

Due to the apathy of govt, flood victims of north Karnataka are living in metal boxes

They reside under a hot tin roof

yes, we stay here: Residents of Chikkamanchali, worst hit village in Raichur district, still in temporary sheds though they go haywire during high speed wind. dh Photo

Three of the districts that were devastated last October, Koppal, Bellary and Raichur are sizzling with mercury crossing 40 degree Celsius. Those for whom their homes of concrete or wood are but a memory now, are finding the tin sheds worse than ovens to live in.

The zinc sheets that form the “roof” and “walls” heat up by 9 am in the morning. By noon, they can scald you. By night, they remain warm and radiate a warmth that is torturous in the searing summer.

There are no windows, leave alone fans in the sheds. The roofs leak. With monsoon onset imminent in the region, the occupants of the sheds are damned either way. But they have no option but to remain in the sheds as the government has failed to deliver its promise of constructing pucca houses for the victims before the onset of monsoon.

Rainfall with high wind

Families in Honnarahalli (Bellary), Chintammandoddi, Talamari, Bichchali (Raichur) are still in sheds. Many of them have been victims of mishaps with the haphazardly placed sheets falling over them. A moderate rainfall coupled with high wind speed, which is a common feature during monsoon, is sufficient to render the dwellers even to lose these temporary roofs.

In some villages, people have fled the sheds unable to bear the heat and non-availability of basic facilities like water and grocery shops. They have returned to their dilapidated houses. But they are a worried lot because the roof and walls may collapse anytime once the rains start pouring in.

“But there is no alternative. Construction of new houses takes a few months more. We have returned to our damaged houses with a few repairs,” said Hanumavva, Mahadevamma and Basavalingamma of Hiresindhogi in Koppal taluk.

This reporter had visited Hiresindhogi in Bellary soon after the floods in the first week of October, 2009. The affected people had taken shelter in Siddeshwara temple of the village. Revisiting the village, this reporter found no change in the scenario in the last eight months.

At least 30 men were seen taking shelter in the temple because they are not sure if it would safer to move into their damaged houses or into the tin sheds.

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