Doomed if it rains, damned if it doesn’t

Doomed if it rains, damned if it doesn’t

If some have lost their annual ration, others have lost their clothes and electronic goods. And worst affected are the students who lost their textbooks and notebooks in the Sunday rains.

Hubballi received heavy rains for more than one-and-half hour on Sunday, and the low lying areas of Old-Hubballi were submerged, thanks to the unscientific drainage and road work taken up by the multiple government agencies including Hubballi-Dharwad Mahanagara Palike (HDMP), and Public Works Department (PWD).

Main reason

One of the main reason for the Sunday ‘tragedy’ is due to clogging of the main drainage of Aralikatti Oni that empties itself into a stormwater drain. A huge boulder along with plastic waste had choked the main drain that resulted in drainage water gushing into the low-lying houses. Most of the residents at the Aralikatti Oni are daily wage workers and construction labourers.

“Till 1:30 am on Monday we have manually flushed the water out from houses,” said Prakash Uppar a mason and a resident of the oni. “Even now, the houses are stinking as the knee-level gutter water got stagnated in the house. The rice and other rations that was stored at the house have been soaked in the sewage water, and even after repeated wash the grains still smell bad,” he said, showing the rice that has turned yellow.

Bad food

While the HDMP had arranged dinner to the affected people on Sunday night, however on Monday there was no such facility provided to the residents. A few of the residents also complained that the food supplied to them at 11:30 pm on Sunday was stale.

The officials had asked the residents to spend their night at Samudhaya Bhavan, as their houses were in a precarious condition. However, by Monday afternoon, that community hall was locked. The residents, especially women had to face the hardship in attending to their nature’s call as the toilets at the houses were overflowing and the community toilet was stinking. They were forced to relieve themselves in the open.

Hanumantappa Dasar, another resident of the Oni, who was flushing drain water out of his sump said, earlier we were getting drinking water once in 10 days. Now, the drain water has mixed with the drinking water. “I am not sure when will we get drinking water again. There is not a single glass of drinking water available in the house right now,” he said and added that they have to cook, drink, and wash their clothes with this stinking water itself.

Goods, books damaged

All most all the residents on Monday afternoon were seen drying their clothes at every possible place they could find.

“The knee-level water inside the house has damaged all the electronic goods, cooking utensils, and clothes,” said Bhanu Shaik, and added that she had spent Rs 3,000 to purchase textbooks and notebooks for her three daughters, and all the books were damaged in the rain.

The residents blamed the unscientific construction of roads and drainage at their houses for the problem. “The drainage and roads are at a higher level than our houses. There is no proper outlet for the drains from outside, which resulted in rainwater entering our house,” said Tousif Morab, and urged the officials to fix this problem before heavy rains lashed again.

The residents also fear that there would be an increase in the number of snakes and other insects visiting their houses. The outbreak of diseases is also not ruled out.

The residents also requested the government to provide them financial assistance to rebuild their houses.

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