Political rivalry floods rehab work

Legislators drop rival-dominated villages from relocation lists

Political rivalry floods rehab work


During the floods, there were complaints of delay in reaching relief materials to certain sections of the affected due to political reasons. In the post-flood period, the complaints relate to the selection of villages for relocation.

Kududarahal, a village in Siruguppa taluk, was marooned in water for three days last year. The village is located on the banks of Hagari stream, which affected many villages in the taluk.

Relief material could reach Kududarahal only three days after the floods hit, because a bridge connecting the village to the taluk headquarters was submerged in water. The agitated villagers assaulted the tahsildar alleging the taluk administration was blind to misery of the people. Siruguppa is represented by BJP MLA Somalingappa, while Kududarahal is the native place of former MLA Chandrashekharaiah of the JD(S). The MLA suspected the JD(S) was behind the assault on the tahsildar.

The result? village did not figure in the list of those selected for relocation, while its neighbours Sridharagadda and Honnurahalli were identified for relocation. Angry that their neighbours were getting new houses while they were ignored, the residents of Kududarahal blame the MLA’s “petty politics” for the injustice.

Talamari in Raichur taluk is located on the bank of Tungabhadra river. Most of the houses were flooded. Farmers lost paddy and stock of fertilisers worth lakhs of rupees.
The residents are agitated over the delay in supply of relief materials by the local administration. The MLA and tahsildar who visited the village after the floods, were assaulted. Three four-wheelers, including one belonging to the MLA, were burnt down.
The result? Although the district administration marked the village for relocation, with 1,425 households set to shift, work has not moved beyond forming a layout. At least 200 people are still in temporary shelter, while the rest have found shelter in relatives’ houses. Jayanna of Talamari suspects rehabilitation was delayed because the the MLA and others were assaulted by the villagers. He is worried because his family of six people may have to spend at least another six months in the temporary sheds.

Party workers
Grassroots workers of political parties have played a role in rehabilitation work.  Siruguppa taluk administration insisted that people of Hachcholli, identified for relocation give in writing that they would leave the village once new layouts were ready. Many people opposed to the move, finding no logic in leaving the well-built, comparatively spacious houses for tiny rooms.

But the followers of the local MLA succeeded in getting a few to sign the undertaking. A local BJP worker said he managed to get the signature by telling the people that the donors would stop construction of houses if they (villagers) did not leave their present houses.
DH News Service

Record performance!
In response to a direction from the Chief Minister’s office, Deputy Commissioners of flood-affected district send weekly updates on progress of rehabilitation work. But if one such report is any indication, official records seem to misrepresent facts. As per the records obtained by Deccan Herald from Bellary Deputy Commissioner’s office, construction of 18 houses has been completed, 15 of them in Matur and three in Hachcholli of Siruguppa taluk.

A reality check gives a different picture. The officer at Tahsildar’s office in Siruguppa said construction of only three houses is complete. A field visit showed that not even one house was ready.

Records available at the Raichur Deputy Commissioner’s office said basement for 350 houses was completed in Bichchali and Bichchali Camp in Raichur Taluk. A reality check showed only work on foundation of 40 houses in progress. In Chikkamanchali, basement for 21 houses had been completed against the official statistics of 100 houses.

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