Staff Correspondent

Kagwad (Belgaum district): The tin sheds at the temporary relief centre at Kagwad in Athani taluk present a picture of apathy of the successive governments towards flood-affected families.

The frustrated families have threatened to boycott elections as the promise of succour by successive governments has not been kept.

“We have nothing by which we can make the Government listen to our woes. All parties want our votes but forget us soon after the elections. What is the point in voting for those who have no concern for us?,” asked Parshuram Channappa Waghmare.

Balasaheb Arjun Kamble Sawant Mayappa Mang, Murghendra Mang, Adiveppa Kamble, Sudhakar Ramu Kotnis and Uday Nadev Lokare support his view.

Mr. Waghmare said: “Since our vote has no value, we may as well not cast it.”

It has been more than three years since the devastating floods hit the area in August 2005.

About 300 members belonging to 60 families live in these sheds without proper drinking water facility and electricity connection. The foodgrains distributed through ration shops are inadequate. They do not get adequate kerosene to cook food.

Initially, about 500 persons were housed at this relief centre after one of the worst floods in which their houses (in Kusnal, Mulwad and Ugar B.K. in Athani taluk) on the banks of the Krishna were washed away.

The then Government headed by N. Dharam Singh had planned to shift them and his successor H.D. Kumarswamy had promised them proper rehabilitation. Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa too promised to find a permanent solution to the problems of these families.

However, although the measures to shift 36 villages, six of them fully and the remaining partially, had been taken, the administration is finding it difficult to get land for the purpose.

But more than rehabilitation at the moment, the families at Kagwad relief centre are worried over unemployment in view of the prevailing drought conditions.

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