Mangaluru, Jan 4, 2016: The rehabilitation project was implemented jointly by the Dakshina Kannada Zilla Panchayat, Taluk Panchayat and Bajpe Gram Panchayat by pooling in resources. A housing complex for the victims of the Thottilaguri incident near Bajpe was inaugurated at Porkody on Jan 2, Saturday.
Of the 18 families from Thottilaguri, 15 have been rehabilitated at Porkody. Minister for Youth Empowerment, Sports and Fisheries Abhayachandra Jain handed over the keys of the houses to the members of the 15 families. Two of the remaining three families have refused to shift to Porkody, while the last had only one senior citizen, who is currently residing at her relative’s house.
Each house at the complex has been constructed at a cost of Rs 3.50 lakh, and has one bedroom, a hall, a kitchen, a toilet and a bathroom.
Four persons - including a 13-year-old girl - were killed and six others suffered injuries as a portion of a compound wall of an illegally constructed commercial complex collapsed on the houses at Thottilaguri, following heavy rain on June 18, 2013. The affected families were living in houses on the banks of the Thottilaguri stream.
After the incident, the district administration decided to evacuate the families from Thottilaguri. The DK DC sanctioned 3.43 acres of land at Porkody in Bajpe to undertake the rehabilitation work.
The Bajpe Gram Panchayat developed the land at an estimated cost of Rs 3.75 lakh, while a total of Rs 1.15 crore has been spent to develop the housing complex.
Borewells have been sunk to supply water to the houses, and water tanks have been constructed to store the water supplied. Pipe compost has also been installed in all the 15 houses, for disposal of organic waste.
KIOCL has constructed an overhead tank with 50,000-litre capacity at an estimated cost of Rs 12 lakh. A borewell was sunk using the MLALAD of minister Jain. A sum of Rs 30 lakh has been utilised for the construction of a road from Koncharu High School till Porkody.
The underground drainage system has been developed at the complex at an estimated cost of Rs 12.50 lakh. The Bajpe Gram Panchayat has given 500-litre capacity water tanks to every house, using 25 per cent of the funds for the welfare of SC/STs in 2015-16.
The Mescom has provided electricity connection to the houses and streetlights have been installed at an estimated cost of Rs 10 lakh.
Financial extension : The authorities concerned had extended funds under the Basava Vasathi Yojane to seven beneficiaries and under the Indira Awas Yojana to eight beneficiaries of Thottilaguri.
Under various housing schemes, a total of Rs 18 lakh was pooled in - in addition to the 25 per cent of the funds meant for the welfare of SC/STs in Bajpe Gram Panchayat, Rs 14 lakh donated by the Bajpe shopowners and Rs 10 lakh from the award money of Hiriya Nagarika Seva Puraskar of the Zilla Panchayat, which were utilised for the construction of the houses.
Beneficiaries talk : Bajpe Gram Panchayat member and one of the beneficiaries, said, "After the Thottilaguri incident, members of the 18 families did not have proper houses. We were living in a pathetic condition. Since 2013, all 18 families had to use one toilet. There was no proper room for changing clothes for even women and girls. With the handing over of the houses, we can lead a dignified life," she said, with a smile on her face.
Another beneficiary, said "The government has given us houses, drinking water and electricity connections. The mud road leading to Porkody should be developed. Two more families, which are residing in Thottilaguri, should be rehabilitated at Porkody."
Inaugurating the housing complex and drinking water facility, Zilla Panchayat President Asha Thimmappa Gowda said in spite of opposition from the families to shift to Porkody, the authorities were successful in convincing 15 families. The residents should maintain cleanliness in the colony, she advised. MLC Ivan D’Souza said that he will give Rs one lakh from his MLC funds to maintain cleanliness in the colony.