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More irregularities emerge at Ragigudda EWS quarters

Staff Reporter
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The Slum Board has allotted the flats but not provided basic amenities

HALF MEASURES:The Slum Development Board has given beneficiaries allotment tokens to houses that have no electricity, water and sewerage connections.— PHOTO: V. SREENIVASA MURTHY
HALF MEASURES:The Slum Development Board has given beneficiaries allotment tokens to houses that have no electricity, water and sewerage connections.— PHOTO: V. SREENIVASA MURTHY

New layers of irregularities are emerging by the day at the Ragigudda quarters for people from Economically Weaker Sections (EWS), built with a funding support of Rs. 33.34 under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM).

If The Hindu ’s visit to the colony last week revealed that hundreds of unauthorised people have occupied the flats, leaving genuine claimants in the lurch, a revisit to the area earlier this week revealed glaring lacunae.

The Slum Development Board has given people allotment tokens to houses that have not yet been given electricity, water and sewerage connections.

Owing money

“The slum board owes us Rs. 2.9 crore. We cannot provide connections until we receive the money,” said T. Venkataraju, Engineer-in-Chief, Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board (BWSSB). Asked why electricity connections have not been provided, a senior Bescom official, who preferred anonymity, said: “They [the board] have not yet finished the internal wiring works and installed meters. We can give electricity connections tomorrow but what do we connect the lines to?”

Then how did Chief Minister Jagadish Shettar inaugurate the complex on November 21, 2012, and hand over allotment letters to 800 beneficiaries?

Neither Mr. Shettar, who is busy with the ongoing budget session, nor the board’s Technical Director Sannachintaiah were available for comment.

Ripple effect

The ripple effect of the confusion at the Ragigudda quarters now appears to be affecting neighbouring areas as well. A senior official in the BWSSB said that residents of the nearby KSRTC Housing Colony trooped to his office and complained that sewage was backing up into their houses.

“When we investigated this, we found that the residents of Ragigudda had inserted unauthorised sewerage pipes into our lines. The extra flow has caused the sewage back up,” he said.

Residents such as Dharmaiah (42), a vegetable vendor, confirmed that he had connected the sewerage from his flat to the main line. “Given the speed at which houses are being illegally occupied, we didn’t want to leave anything to chance. The moment we found our house, we moved in. We can’t wait for the sewerage connections to be provided,” he said.

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