While criticism and complaints have become synonymous with most of the Aasare colonies of the north Karnataka region, the colony at Kotyal village of Bijapur taluk is one of the heartening exceptions.

The colony at Kotyal has well-kept houses, adequate water facilities, drainage, electricity and space for cattle sheds.

Kotyal village, which is around 23 km from Bijapur city, was affected following the floods in the Don, and the government decided to relocate the entire village. As part of the rehabilitation, the Mysore-based non-governmental organisation, Mysore Citizens’ Forum that works under Suttur Math, adopted the village.

“The village where we lived before the floods had no facilities. The roads were too narrow even for a bullock cart. We are extremely happy with the houses and facilities,” said Balasaheb Kalanur.

The roads are wide, water supply is stable and water purifiers have been installed in schools. Two parks have also been developed in the area. “From Friday onwards, we will be distributing 100 solar panels and 100 smoke-free chulahs (traditional stove). A Rs. 7 lakh worth water purifier will be installed in the main water tank,” said Narasimha Raichur, convener of the NGO.

Houses have been built on 30 x 50 sq ft sites, in which the built up area is 10 x 20 sq ft; the remaining area is open and beneficiaries can either construct sheds or add more rooms.

However, even here, not all houses are occupied. Mr. Raichur admits that out of 477 houses, only around 100 have been occupied. He blames elected representatives and the district administration for it.

“About 473 beneficiaries have already been listed in the local panchayat. However, since title deeds are still not given to them, they are reluctant to occupy the houses for the fear that they may be evacuated soon after,” he said.

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