Flood-hit lead abandoned lives

Flood-hit lead abandoned lives

Harsh reality

While some are living in the temporary sheds, others continue to stay put in their old houses on the banks of River Krishna, even though the flood water almost reach their doorsteps every time there are floods in the village. The leaders on their part seem to have permanently forgotten Turadagi.

Though Turadagi looks like a deserted village as one enters it, with buildings that have almost collapsed and empty streets, it is the people living there who are leading abandoned lives. The villagers bear the brunt of the Narayanpur dam backwaters during the floods.

A majority of the villagers have been shifted to temporary sheds that came up in 2005, but they lack basic amenities like toilets and proper drainage. The affected in Turadagi are waiting for land to be allotted to them, under the Upper Krishna Project (UKP), to construct new houses.

Though the rehabilitation of 232 families in Turadagi, four km from Kudalasangama, was supposed to be completed by 2007, around 30 families still stay in their old houses. They said that they had not been allotted the temporary sheds and that some families had occupied more than one shed.

On Wednesday also, officials visited the village and warned the people about the impending flood situation, but the villagers have nowhere to go. On Thursday, the people were seen coming out of their houses often to see whether the flood water has receded.

“This time, flood water has entered our fields. As we do not have sheds, we have to look for safe shelters whenever floods force us to leave our houses. We have not received the plots to construct new houses,” says Chandramappa Siddappa Hagari, who stays at his old house at Turadagi.

“Insects are a menace here. In the last eight years, around 10 people have died due to snake bite,” Shankarappa Doddamani said.

For many residents of these temporary sheds, open defecation is inevitable, as they do not have toilets. This ‘shed colony’ does not have drainage facility and rains turn the whole area marshy. “We do not have enough space to keep fodder for the cattle or the firewood. These sheds are too small for many families. Our cattle are shelterless. We are fed up with the lack of basic amenities here, and are waiting for the allotment of plots to construct new houses,” says Yamanappa Karasiddappanavar, who stays at a temporary shed.

Shed school

A primary school and an Anganwadi centre are also being run inside the temporary sheds outside the village. Around 140 children study in the primary school, being run with six teachers. The Anganwadi centre has 35 children. Mid-day meals are also being prepared and served to the students inside the sheds.

“When it rains, the roof of this shed leaks. Strong winds worsen the situation,” says Anganwadi teacher S S Doddamani.

Authorities said the process of identifying and acquiring land for the rehabilitation of Turadagi and Katgur residents had delayed the process. Old houses of the displaced had been evaluated and plots would be allotted to them very soon, they added. A total of 548 plots would be allotted to villagers of Turadagi and Katgur (in Hungund taluk) and they would also be given money to construct houses based on the valuation of their old houses.  The UKP identified 11 more villages recently where the floot-hit can be rehabilitated, officials said.