Rain-hit families stage dharna demanding compensation

FOR THEIR BENEFIT: Women staging dharna near the RDO office demanding compensation for houses damaged in the floods.  

Special Correspondent

Victims hold Congress and TDP leaders responsible for their plight

No relief camps organised for affected persons All 200 houses should be enumerated as fully damaged: victims

ONGOLE: Some 500 men and women living in Shramiknagar colony in Tangutur thronged the Revenue Divisional Office here today demanding payment of compensation for their houses damaged due to floods in Oct-Nov this year.

They gheraoed the mandal revenue officer, Ramanamma, when she came to explain the situation to the higher officials, leading to tension.

It is stated that about 300 families belonging to weaker sections encroached upon 20 acres of endowment land abutting the Chennai-Kolkata four-lane highway in Tangutur for the last five years.

Their thatched houses were inundated in 3-4 feet water when it rained heavily on October 30 forcing them to evacuate their colony and take shelter in panchayat office.

Left in the lurch

Revenue officials supplied them food packets on that night and following morning but left them in the lurch later saying the mandal recorded only normal rainfall.

The mandal however received 200 mm rainfall later and several villages were affected by flood.

Even then the officials did not start a relief camp for the people of Shramiknagar.

When they resorted to agitation, the officials supplied 20 kg rice and five litres of kerosene to each family and asked them to fend for themselves.

Officials could not give any explanation as to why they did not run a relief camp for the people whose houses were inundated.

Prime land

As the water did not recede from their colony even after a week, they resorted to agitation demanding the officials to drain off the water.

Panchayat officials swung into action and breached the bund on the eastern side to drain the water and help people reclaim their houses.

The victims suspect that some leaders in the Congress-I and TDP had conspired to deny them any help during floods in the hope that they would desert the colony so that they can knock away the prime land.

The victims were also incensed that they were not paid any compensation to the damaged houses till now.

When contacted, the MRO said they had completed enumeration and found 67 houses fully damaged and 82 houses partially damaged in the colony.

She said the compensation was not paid till now because the victims demanded that all the 200 houses should be enumerated as fully damaged leading to a dispute.

The victims however denied this and said they would be happy if they were compensated immediately as per their enumeration.