Slum dwellers in the area yet to get title deeds

With the Gandhinagar ward bypoll round the corner, most residents hope that the major issues plaguing them are addressed at least now. The residents of this ward, in the heart of the city, complain about irregular water supply and sewage problems. These, they claim, are the only major issues ailing the otherwise “developed” ward.

Residents of Lakshamanpuri Slum, near Khoday's Circle, claimed that there were no other major problems in the slum. However, A. Vishwanath, a resident, told The Hindu that though the slum dwellers have been living there for the past 50 years, they were yet to get hakku patras (title deeds).

“We have only been given sale deed by the Karnataka Slum Development Board. Since most residents are not able to pay taxes to the civic authority, we have not been given hakku patras. However, the bigger problem we face everyday is the drinking water shortage. This is likely to intensify during summer,” he said.

Title deeds

The residents of Risaldar Colony also go through the same ordeal. Balan, a long-time resident, said that the slum mainly comprises BPL (Below Poverty Line) households. “The slum was established around 120 years ago. We had approached former councillor S. Nataraj and urged him to ensure that we get hakku patras. Unfortunately, he passed away before he could help us,” he said.

He said that the drinking water pipeline was drawn inside a sewage pipeline. “Often sewage gets mixed with drinking water. Children keep falling ill. Though we have approached many political leaders seeking a solution, the problem is yet to be resolved.”

Another resident said the colony had only one narrow passage serving as both entry and exit. “There were three other entrances. But some private people have blocked it,” she complained.

The residents of both slums said that they had lost faith in the political leaders, who come only during elections. “We have seen a lot of politicians fall at our feet asking for votes. They don't come back after being elected. After they are elected, it is our turn to fall at their feet to get any work done,” a disgruntled Balakrishna, local resident, said.