Houseless labourers put up tents on gomala land

Houseless labourers put up tents on gomala land in Kumbaladike

Houseless labourers, at least 50 of them, have put up tents on a gomala land demanding sites in Kumbaladike, near Kalasa, on Thursday.

As a part of an indefinite dharna, staged under the leadership of Zilla Budakattu Adivasi Sangha President Sanjeeva, the labourers working in various plantations in Kumbaladike, Kalasa, Hinari, Handihadlu and Mavinakere have put up temporary tents using tarpaulins. They also cooked food and ate it on the site.

Prema, one of the houseless women, said that her family had been staying in the line houses of a plantation from the past 24 years. She said they were sent out of the house on the pretext of lack of work in the plantations. "Now, we have nowhere to go," she said.

Arun, another plantation worker, said that the workers were being pressured to leave the line houses stating that they were unsafe during the rainy season.

He urged the administration to allocate sites to the plantation workers on the same land where dharna is being held.

Suresh, a youth from Mavinakere, quoting the Kalasa Gram Panchayat authorities said that land had been sanctioned for rehabilitation of the labourers in Kukkodi, five years go.

''But there is no progress in this regard,'' he pointed out. "How long are the homeless supposed to wait for their sites?" asked Suresh.

Sanjeeva, who headed the dharna, said that a memorandum had been submitted to the local MLA requesting sites for the houseless labourers in Kumbaladike.

Protests have been staged in front of the Deput Commissioner's office five times demanding sites. However, the land sanctioned for the houseless has now been earmarked for the rehabilitation of the flood victims. This is an injustic meted out to the houseless labourers, he said and added that the workers would not move out of the place till the deputy commissioner arrived at the spot.

The labourers said that they would not succumb to the pressure tactics of the officials. As rumours on the allocation of sites at Kumbaladike spread, more workers turned up and put up tents.

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