Families live in single room tenement on Ryve’s Canal bund paying
Rs. 400 a month
VIJAYAWADA: Appalanaidu, 20, recently moved to the city from Vizianagaram district to eke out a living as a rickshaw puller. He and his wife live in a small single room tenement on Ryve’s Canal bund paying Rs. 400 a month as rent. Though the amount is high, it is viable for him because there are ample employment opportunities for his wife in the vicinity. He doesn’t pay any extra charge for water, which he draws freely from the canal for washing and cleaning.
Many of his ilk who walk long distances to reach their work places consider Appalanaidu lucky. But there is a catch here. Though not interested in politics, Appalanaidu and his wife are forced to participate in various political programmes at the behest of his landlord. For, landlords of most tenants living on the canal bunds have affiliations of one political party or the other.
Octogenarian K. Nukaraju came from Anakapalli in Visakhapatnam district and settled down on the bund of Eluru Canal even before the construction of Prakasam Barrage. He has since then been actively helping friends and relatives in ‘colonising’ the canal bunds. Today, he is the owner of about half a dozen portions and lives entirely on rents.
Ties with parties
Nukaraju hobnobbed with many political parties to take care of his properties. He was a cardholder of a Left party and enjoys close ties with a senior TDP leader who helped people settle down on the canal bunds. If the authorities shift families from the canal bunds to elsewhere, it will mean his ruin. For, the tenant families will get houses but he will lose his rents. Nukaraju is not alone in this category.
District Collector Navin Mittal hopes that the recent call given by the district administration to tenants of canal bunds not to pay rent to any one will bring to light the actual picture.