The flood-ravaged people of Talamari, a remote village in Raichur taluk, majority of who belong to the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes, are left in the lurch in absence of proper relief and rehabilitation.
The village which has a population of about 7,000, was destroyed during floods. Of the 2,800 houses, more than 630 houses and huts, mostly belonging to the SC families, collapsed leaving no chance to take up any repairs. Agriculture is the lifeline of the residents but the standing crops, mainly paddy, in about 2,000 acres of land along the banks of the river were washed away. The landless people, most of them agricultural labourers, have been rendered jobless.
Water is still stagnant leading to the spread of water-borne diseases and debris piled all over the village. Except the restoration of electricity and repair of a road in the village, no steps have been taken to clear the debris and clear the waterlogged areas. The people have been forced to consume unsafe water from the nearby ponds and live in a polluted environment.
Bajarappa, Sawareappa, Hanumathu and other people belonging to the Scheduled Castes community have lost everything, including their huts and household belongings. So far, they have not been paid any compensation. They have no means of employment as the district administration has not yet started any employment generation work in the village. Except the supply of some foodgrains, authorities have not initiated any measures to pay compensation to the affected families or construct houses for them.
The residents told this correspondent on Monday that they had been demanding that the district administration shift them to a safe place by constructing houses and arrange for their employment. Otherwise, they will be forced to migrate to other places. But, the district administration has not been able to identify a site to rehabilitate the affected families as no one in the village was ready to provide the required land.
A rehabilitation camp set up near the village has provided shelter to nearly 1,500 affected people. But most of them belong to the Scheduled Castes as people belonging to Scheduled Tribes and other communities allegedly refused to live with them.
However, the people at the rehabilitation centre are living in a miserable condition following lack of availability of basic facilities such as safe drinking water, proper sanitation and bathing. Except the supply of foodgrains twice in the last one week, no steps have been taken to provide blankets and supply of safe drinking water. Owing to lack of supply of kerosene, the people have been forced to consume half-cooked food boiled by utilising haystack.