Flood-affected victims in limbo

Flood-affected victims in limbo

Bhavya N N, along with her two children and mother, was waiting for a bus to shift her to a new relief camp, but did not know anything about her future, except that she will go to another hall 50 km from her house.

“We were told that we will be housed in Kushalnagar, but we know nothing else. The government is saying we will get a new house, but nobody says where and when. We don’t want to move to temporary shelters,” she said.

Bhavya moved to the private relief centre run by Seva Bharati after her home in Indiranagar was damaged during the floods. Seva Bharati secretary K K Mahesh Kumar said they had to shut the centre as the marriage hall provided to them had to be vacated for events booked months ago.

While 250 flood victims left the Seva Bharati relief centre on Tuesday, about 80 came out of the camp at Chowdeshwari Temple on Sunday. Many of them have preferred to stay with their relatives rather than going to Kushalnagar.

For Bhavya, education of her son Mahendra (Class 9) and daughter Pooja (Class 3) is the biggest worry.

“Both of them were studying in St Michael’s School. I don’t know anything about their future now,” she said.

While the government’s promise of new houses has come as a huge relief, those in relief camps are worried about their location. “I have lived in Hebbetageri throughout my life. People here know me and help me get work. How can we move to a new place and start everything anew,” asked Ramesh.

Padmavati K N said she will not move to temporary shelter. “Once we go there, the government will forget us. My only request to the government is to build a new house nearer to my home at Makkanduru.”

A volunteer with Red Cross said confusions were being caused due to the contradictory statements made by political leaders.

“They were first told that they will be rehabilitated at the original place, which is impossible at places like Jodupala. Another said they will be relocated to a place chosen by the government. This shows lack of concerted effort,” he said.

The district administration on Tuesday said officials will hold a meeting with people’s representatives from the flood-affected areas as well as the victims of the disaster before deciding on their rehabilitation.

The administration will provide applications to those who lost homes. “They can choose from various options, like aid to build a house at their own site or alternative land or temporary shelter,” officials said.

Deputy Commissioner P I Sreevidya has instructed panchayat development officers and village accountants to conduct a joint survey of disaster-hit areas and submit a report by Friday.