Govt. urged to expedite tribal rehabilitation

NGO says many families in Hunsur taluk live in dilapidated huts without any protection from monsoon fury

The onset of southwest monsoon triggers hope for millions of farmers across the country. But for hundreds of adivasis in tribal hamlets it is a period of suffering and misery.

For, these tribals live in dilapidated huts without even a thatched roof while walls are covered by plastic sheets. The housing conditions are dire and the period from June to September is when the inmates tend to get partially drenched despite living indoors.

In all, there is a need for 1,012 new houses spread across 34 haadis or hamlets in Hunsur taluk besides repair of 1,164 houses which were constructed decades ago, according to S. Sreekanth of Development through Education, an NGO working for tribal uplift in Hunsur.

“It is as good as living under a tree without a roof overhead and there is a fear of the dilapidated walls collapsing in case of heavy rains accompanied by gale’’, said Mr. Sreekanth who has drawn the attention of the authorities, including the Chief Minister, to their predicament and wanted the rehabilitation to be expedited.

Such houses which are uninhabitable are seen in haadis including Karanakuppe, Shettihalli, Billanahosahalli, and Lakshmanteertha.

However, other sources disputed some of the contentions of DEED and said that more than 4,000 houses were constructed under the Conservation-Cum-Development (CCD) plan and hence housing was not an issue. Mr. Sreekanth said these houses were constructed decades ago and are now in a dilapidated state and hence need urgent repairs or need to be rebuilt

Sources conceded that nearly 1,000 families living inside the national park definitely lacked housing and shelter, and relocation outside the forests was the best alternative for them.

Though the issue has also been raised with higher authorities and a memorandum submitted to the Integrated Tribal Development Project and Tribal Directorate, nothing has changed on the ground, according to Mr. Sreekanth.

Meanwhile, DEED has also urged the State government to expedite the rehabilitation 3,418 tribal families as per the ruling of the High Court of Karnataka and implement the recommendations of Muzafar Assadi Committee report which was submitted in 2014.

The memorandum to the government also included a demand to encourage tribals to take up agriculture and allot land for them, and immediate allotment of ration cards for 880 tribal families, besides addressing livelihood issues afflicting the tribal communities.

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