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18 Nov 2019, Edition - 1588, Monday

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Coimbatore

Kandivazhi hamlet tribals look towards good Samaritans to rebuild homes, lives

Umar Sharieef

Strap: Residents of this hamlet have a lucky escape as they were evacuated just before heavy rain destroys their homes.

Tribals from this hamlet of Kandivazhi in Coimbatore district are awaiting the largesse of the society, in general, to help them rebuild their homes and lives after heavy rain rudely disrupted their normal life. Almost all the houses in the tiny hamlet were destroyed by the heavy rain that caused flooding in some areas nearby. Fortunately, there were no casualties as all of the 90 odd residents were evacuated and housed in a rescue center in a school nearby.

Saved in the nick of time from heavy rain, the residents now fear for their future, minus their homes of thirty years.

“We won’t have a roof over our heads,” and we can resettle in our village if and only if someone helps us rebuild our homes is the common refrain of the flood victims spending time in makeshift rescue center near here. Their hutments and houses were under various stages of degeneration due to successive natural calamities, but this time, the Southwest monsoon spell was the worst.

Only they were lucky to escape with their lives.

The houses were built some 30 years ago during the tenure of MGR and Karunanidhi as the chief ministers.

“The roofs and walls of our houses have already been damaged in the previous natural calamities, but this southwest monsoon has made the situation worse. The rainwater splashes in our homes and does not allow us to sleep. We have no option but to look for other places to stay as the roof may collapse any time,” Annamalai, a resident told The Covai Post.

Some residents said that the plastic sheets used as roof were blown off.

Recounting their tale of woe, the residents said that government schemes were of little help. Citing an example, one resident said that the new scheme of Chief Minister Solar Powered Green House Project was well-intentioned but not of much use as funds allocated were just not enough.

Palanisamy, former ward member said, “a sum of Rs 2.10 lakh has been allotted by the government for the construction of new houses. This is not enough to build a house for 300 sqft with hall and kitchens. Besides the cost of transportation of material pushes up the costs further. The villagers have to spend a sum of Rs 30,000 for a solar energy unit, that is compulsory. Moreover, the residents, most of them daily wagers cannot afford the running costs either.

Only sponsorship from individuals or corporate houses under the CSR activities can help these tribals find a liveable house, social activist Joshua told The Covai Post. She said Kavundampalayam MLA VC Arukutty has been raising the plight of the people of this hamlet for past some time.

For the present, the flood victims of the hamlet have been housed in the Panchayat Middle School at Kondanur. Local PDO and tahsildar have made arrangements for their food and daily necessities until the flood situation eases.

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