Bengaluru

Karnataka couple lives in relative’s bathroom for a year

Obalappa and Lakshminarasamma

Obalappa and Lakshminarasamma   | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

An inordinate delay in the allotment of a house promised to them by the government rendered a couple homeless, forcing them to live in a bathroom of a relative’s house for over a year.

Obalappa, 55, and Lakshminarasamma, 45, who belong to Scheduled Caste, were living in a mud house in Kadapalakere, Pavagada taluk of Tumakuru. In 2017, they were told by Kotagudda Gram Panchayat that a house had been sanctioned to them under the B.R. Ambedkar Niwas Yojana. As their house was in a dilapidated state, they were asked to demolish it and lay the foundation for the new one. With nowhere to live, the couple decided to stay in the bathroom of their relative’s home at Kadapalakere. They took loans from friends and relatives to lay the foundation. After it was laid, authorities inspected the site and a work order was issued in January, 2018. ₹1.64 lakh was to be released in three instalments, but they received no money. Frequent visits to the Pavagada taluk office and Kotagudda GP did not yield results.

Lakshminarasamma, an agricultural labourer, said their financial position was precarious as she has to bear the medical expenses of her ailing husband. When out of work, she has to depend on her son, a vegetable and fruit vendor in Bengaluru.

Obalappa added, “It is like living in a hell in this 4 ft. by 4 ft. bathroom. I am sick and I cannot sleep here properly.”

On Saturday, Tahsildar Varadaraj and Narasimhamurthy, Executive Officer, Pavagada Taluk Panchayat, along with Kotagudda GP members visited the couple.

Mr. Narasimhamurthy, said there were no lapses from their side. “We have followed procedure and sent documents to Rajiv Gandhi Housing Corporation that has to deposit the amount to their bank account. They will release the funds in a week,” he said.

However, the couple is now homeless again after the officials threatened to issue a notice to the owner of the room they were living in and locked the bathroom up. They are now living in the front yard of another house.

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Printable version | Aug 4, 2020 5:42:39 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/bangalore/couple-lives-in-relatives-bathroom-for-a-year/article25415532.ece

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