Fire victims shifted to 1BHK houses

The GHMC officials on Tuesday shifted the slum-dwellers, who occupied the area marked for park in Kondapur, to the poor people’s housing colony (termed ‘dignity housing’) in Ameenpura, and to transit housing in Keshav Nagar, a press statement said.

The evacuees were victims of recent blast and fire in the slum, in which 75 houses were burnt.

As per instructions from Minister K.T. Rama Rao, they were provided accommodation in single-bedroom apartments, for which no beneficiary contribution is being charged.

This was the second instance of fire in the slum, both caused by illegal power lines drawn for electricity requirements.

There are 154 more huts in the area, occupied by migrants from States like Andhra Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Odisha, and other places of Telangana, who have been shifted to the transit housing project at Keshav Nagar.

“Today, for the first time in my life, I used a toilet that is not out in the open. My husband and I lost our meagre belongings, including my mangalsutra and some cash in the piggy bank. I had gone to fetch water from a handpump and by the time I returned, the fire had taken everything. This flat is like heaven after half a lifetime spent in huts,” said Mukka Roopa Devi from Nalgonda.

“As per government rules, beneficiaries of housing schemes have to pay a minimum amount, but in this case, we have waived off everything,” she said. The state government, she said, also gave each family Rs 8,000 for buying essential commodities etc.

“There are no domicile rules or nativity criteria in this case because it was a fire. The process to verify the identity of the remaining families is on,’’ said M Raghunandan Rao, District Collector of Ranga Reddy.

It has also cautioned against rumours that they were eligible for in-situ double bedroom housing scheme, and said it was not possible as the area was marked as park in layout.

Terming it a ‘text book operation’ with minimal inconvenience to rehabilitated persons, the note said the victims were moved safely in TSRTC buses, and provided with food, water and milk. Departments involved in the operation include Police, Fire, and Town planning wing of the West Zone.

Source: The Hindu

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