Devarapura tribal colony is devoid of facilities

The pathetic condition of a house in the tribal colony at Devarapura in Gonikoppa.

Lack of basic facilities is haunting the Jenukuruba community members at Devarapura tribal colony in Gonikoppa.

The colony is situated between Gonikoppa and Thithimathi with 120 Jenukuruba families and 40 Yarava community families residing in it. 

It was during 1988 when Jammada Karumbaiah was the Jilla Parishat president, the government constructed 40 houses with asbestos sheets as the roof for the tribals. Now, the houses are in a deplorable condition and are waiting for a facelift.

The remaining 120 tribal families are still living under thatched roof huts covered with plastic sheet to prevent rainwater from seeping inside.

As the land comes under “Devara Kadu” (sacred grove), the residents are not even issued the title deeds for the land on which they are residing. Hence, they are deprived of basic facilities from the gram panchayat.

The houses neither have electricity connections nor a drinking water supply. 

The houses lack toilets. There is no proper road leading to the houses. The children still depend on kerosene lamps for completing their homework. The ITDP department had supplied solar lamps in the past. However, a majority of the lamps are defunct now. 

“On the ground of the sacred grove land, a landowner has filed a case in the court urging the government not to sanction land for the tribals. Thousands of acres of sacred grove lands in the district have been encroached by the rich. When a poor labourer seeks land to build a house, the government has failed to respond,” said colony leader and DSS activist Jenukurubara Subramani. 

Women in the colony have to walk for several kilometres to fetch a pot of water from a water body.

Every year, at least two to three women are trampled by wild elephants while on there way to fetch water. In spite of it, the authorities have failed to initiate measures to supply water to the colony, alleged residents. 

Further, they said the electricity poles were installed with a transformer to supply electricity to the colony five years ago. However, electricity is yet to reach the households. 

Without proper road connectivity, the residents also find it difficult to reach the main road in case of an emergency.

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