Six adjoining houses too have developed cracks, creating sleepless nights for residents

The last thing Jai Sudha expected when she came home on Sunday night was perilous cracks developing inside her house in Okalipuram here.

The 22-year-old salesperson asked her parents and brother to immediately vacate the house. The family gathered their belongings, including a cot, cupboard and kitchen utensils, and camped outside that night.

On Monday morning, their worst fears came true as they saw their house collapse.

The horror-struck neighbourhood watched as a three-storey building, housing three homes, as well as two adjoining structures housing two families, collapsed like a pack of cards in the wake of the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) constructing a retaining wall for the Vrishabhavathi drain in Okalipuram.

Apart from Ms. Jai Sudha’s family, it was a close call for four more families comprising 18 people.

Fortunately, they had fled the previous night as they found the cracks too threatening to be ignored. All of them are now homeless and don’t know where to park their belongings.

The families said that BBMP had undertaken the construction more than a fortnight ago, initially causing mild tremors and cracks in their houses. Apart from the collapsed dwellings, six other adjoining houses too have developed cracks, creating sleepless nights for residents.

Homemaker Manjula N. (33) said that she has not touched a morsel of food since Sunday night.

For 30 years

A. Nataraj, a daily wage labourer who was sitting amid his belongings on the street, said: “We have been living here for 30 years and even during heavy rain, our houses remained intact. Over the past 15 days, after the BBMP undertook the work, our houses started developing cracks.”

A distraught Ms. Jai Sudha said: “We built our house two years ago after taking Rs. 5 lakh loan. We have not even repaid the loan.”

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