Most of the residents, who live here, possess voter identity cards and ration cards and are engaged as workers in the unorganised sector
Even as the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP), Maverick Holdings Pvt. Ltd., the private agency that has bagged a contract to construct 1,640 residential flats at EWS quarters in Ejipura here, and the original allottees of the quarters filed a joint memorandum before the High Court of Karnataka, paving the way for the much-delayed reconstruction, many residents of the quarters remain anxious about their future.
As if life wasn’t bad enough, these residents, who live in temporary sheds with garbage around and sewage water flowing by the side of their houses, they shared the uncertainty surrounding their future with The Hindu saying they were clueless about the course of events that might take place in the coming weeks.
Most of the residents, who live here, possess voter identity cards and ration cards and are engaged as workers in the unorganised sector. Some of them work as construction labourers or domestic help.
Anita, a mother of two, said that BBMP officials took them to visit a place in Anekal where the residents are expected to be rehabilitated till the construction work is completed.
Anita said, “They showed us the place which is more than 30 km from our houses. The barren land there has no drinking water or electricity. There are no schools around. Connectivity to our workplace is poor. How do they expect us to live there?”
“Should our children drop out of school? Should we stop going to work? How will we feed our children?” she asked.
Explaining the plight of their condition, Yellamma, a pourakarmika and a single parent, says that she has four children. “With a salary less than Rs. 4,000, where can I go now? How will I pay rent and take care of my children as well?”
She added that rumours are doing the rounds. She said, “We do not know what the High Court order is? Some residents say that we will have to vacate in a week; others say that we have a month’s time. We live in fear everyday.”
X. Luvies, president, Dr. Ambedkar Youth Social Welfare Association, said, “We will certainly not vacate from here. The government is only concerned about rich people. Nobody cares for poor people.”
BBMP Additional Commissioner (East), K.C. Shivashankar said that the BBMP is exploring alternatives. He said that it is difficult to accommodate 1,500 families. He said, “Where is the land in the city. It is difficult to accommodate them within city limits. They need to go to the suburbs.”
Asked about residents not willing to stay away from their original place of living, Mr. Shivashankar said, “We will announce compensation for them. We will not leave them out on the streets.”
According to the agreement, the private agency has been given 24 months to complete the construction work.
This is the second time that the residents would be evicted.
Some portions of the quarters collapsed a few years ago and the residents were evicted from the quarters.