Victims unlikely to get houses before rainy season

Victims unlikely to get houses before rainy season

The houses being constructed in Karnangeri in Madikeri, for the victims ofthe natural calamity.

Those rendered homeless by the recent flash floods and landslides in Kodagu are unlikely to get the much-promised roof over their heads before the monsoon.

Even after five months of the awarding of the contract, work has been proceeding at a sluggish pace.

The victims at relief camps attribute the delay in the work to the state government's decision on handing over the entire contract to a single agency.

Initially, many agencies had constructed model houses in Galibeedu village in Madikeri taluk. Muliya Agency, Kaveri Housing, Rajiv Gandhi Rural Housing Corporation and Modular Build Agency had constructed model houses within 30 days.

It was initially a foregone conclusion that the contractor whose housing project model was favoured by a majority of the victims would bag the contract. But the government made a U-turn on its decision and entrusted the contract of building 840 houses to Rajiv Gandhi Housing Corporation (RGHC).

The victims were totally dumbfounded with the government's sudden move. The government paid no heed to the demands of victims which included awarding the contract to different agencies in seven different places.

"There would have been a sense of competition among the contractors," said sources.

The committee members who sought reasons for selecting Rajiv Gandhi Housing Corporation have not received any from the government so far.

A 96-acre land was identified in Made, Sampaje, Jamburu, Karnangeri, K Nidugani, Galibeedu and Biligeri villages for rehabilitating the victims.

An amount of Rs 9.85 lakh was spent on each house. The victim families were told that a 2-bedroom house would be constructed for them.

Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy had laid the foundation for the construction of houses on December 7. The work on the foundation of the houses is in progress in Jamburu village.

The work on five houses is being carried out in Karnangeri village. There is no progress in the rest of the five settlements identified for the rehabilitation of victims.

The corporation had set a target to construct 60 houses every month. Going by their target, only 240 houses would be completed by May 15. The remaining 600 flood victims would have to prolong their stay in relief camps.

On the other hand, only 350 families were provided with a rent allowance of Rs 10,000 every month. The rest are still waiting for the allowance.

Natural calamity victims fight committee office-bearer M B Devaiah said of the total 2,000 houses destroyed due to the natural calamity, only 840 houses were being planned.

The sites in close vicinity to areas which had witnessed landslides are unfit for rehabilitation, he added.

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