The Communist Party of India-Marxist activists staged a novel protest near Sub Collector’s office here demanding housing for the poor.

The dharna drew attention of passersby on Wednesday as the activists put up a make-shift house with bamboo sticks and canvas, which could accommodate three persons in it. Some others carried houses made out of cardboard on their heads to register their protest against the Government apathy towards the shelter-less.

Addressing the gathering, CPI (M) city secretary Ch. Babu Rao said that State Government and Vijayawada Municipal Corporation (VMC) had failed in keeping their promises to provide housing for the poor.

The Corporation gave allotment slips to 1.4 lakh families promising houses to them. It even launched housing programmes under Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM) with much fanfare. It could provide houses to only 7,700 people dashing hopes of thousands of people, he said.

The Rajiv Awas Yojana, Rajiv Swagriha, and major chunk of houses taken up under the JNNURM remained on papers. Hundreds of houses at Jakkampudi, Gangiredduladibba and Rajarajeswaripeta are yet to be allotted to the poor. Many irregularities took place in the allotment of houses. Only the followers of MLAs and MP could get housing. A thorough probe into it was imminent, he said.

The main demands include allocation of houses to all poor and tenants; immediate allocation of houses to the families who were given slips and photos were taken. The government was also requested to commence the works on 3,000 houses at Ajithsingh Nagar; Issuance of pattas to people living on hilly areas.

CPI(M) leaders D. Kasinath, Paturi Ramaiah and others were present.

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