The floods of September 2009 hit Raichur district drastically. The fury of the Krishna and the Tungabhadra, on the north and south borders of the district, washed away as many as 52 villages.
The government identified 37 villages for complete relocation and the remaining for partial relocation. A total of 12,241 houses were planned to be built, of which 11,123 house have been constructed. A total of 1,125 acres of land was acquired from farmers for the construction of houses with the total acquisition amount coming up to Rs. 23.56 crore.
The documents with the district administration claim that Aasare houses in 42 villages have been handed over to beneficiaries.
Construction has not been completed in five villages (Gurjaur, Tungabhadra, Markamdinni, H. Siddapur and Kolur) of Chikka Upperi in Lingasugur taluk, and Karkihalli in Deodurga taluk have demanded more houses. People in Cheekalaparvi say they have no basic amenities. Houses in Jakur in Manvi taluk are in a dilapidated condition. The gram sabha is yet to be held in Yadival to even begin the process of rehabilitation.
However, there are several instances of beneficiaries not occupying houses, either due to lack of amenities or insufficient space or abject conditions, even as the government claims to have handed over the houses.
For example, Mata Amritanandamayi Trust has built 475 houses on 45.04 acres of land in Dongarampur in Raichur taluk.
However, most of the houses are unoccupied. In Raghunathanahalli, 335 houses have been built on 35.09 acres of land. But, roads, water supply and drains have not been provided. In Cheekalaparvi village, Katta Foundation and Nirmiti Kendra, Bellary, have built 554 houses of which many have leaks and cracks on the wall. Many beneficiaries say facing floods is better than living in these houses.
Right or favour?
Hafeez Ulha, a social activist associated with the Bharata Gnaana Vignana Samiti, said: “Aasare houses have been built on a 17x 13 sq ft space; it is too small for an agricultural family.” He added that a remark by the then Deputy Commissioner Anbukumar that the houses were “gifts” given by private organisations and the beneficiaries should not bargain, mitigates the fact that rehabilitation is their right.
Misappropriation of funds
There are also complaints of irregularities and misappropriation of funds in Nirmiti Kendra, Raichur. Nirmiti Kendra, a government agency, with the deputy commissioner as its chairman, was entrusted with the responsibility of building 1,039 Aasare houses in Jagir Venkatapur, Raghunathanhalli, Godhihal, Chikkasugur, Wadlur, Heggasanahalli, Tungabhadra and Jukur villages.
The Nirmiti Kendra had received Rs. 14 crore from the Rajiv Gandhi Rural Housing Corporation Ltd. for house construction. Nirmiti officials put the funds in term deposits in various bank accounts, but there is no account for the interest it generated in two years. There is now an inquiry into an alleged fraud and the entire Nirmiti Kendra activities since its inception.