It has been over a year since a family from Chikpet near Hosanagar moved to a relief centre (Ganji Kendra) after their house collapsed in heavy rains in August 2019. Even as the locality is being battered by another spell of rains, the family continues to remain in the relief centre, thanks to the delay in providing them with an alternative facility for their stay.

Four families in Chikpet were badly hit last year. The SC residents are daily wage workers who don’t own land to cultivate. One house had collapsed completely, while three others developed cracks, forcing them to move out. The local administration set up a relief centre at an unoccupied government quarter meant for Health Department staff, for them. A couple of days later, when the rains receded, the families of Suresh, Udaya and Subramanya returned to their places, while Bangari’s family remained at the relief centre as their house had collapsed completely. Many officers, elected representatives visited the place and assured the affected of relief. As none of the four families had land of their own, they could not get the relief amount meant for repair or construction of a house.

Now, it has been raining heavily in many parts of Hosanagar and a landslip occurred at Chikpet too, where these families stay put. They are all worried about their safety if the rain continues. Sumitra Bangari, who stays with her two children in the relief centre, said she had appealed to local panchayat and Revenue Department officials repeatedly for a solution to the problem. “Whenever we raise our demand, the officers ask to remain in the relief centre until an alternative arrangement is made. How long should we continue to stay here,” she questioned. All four families have appealed to the district administration to provide them with permanent relief.

Shivamogga Deputy Commissioner K.B. Shivakumar visited the village on Tuesday and spoke to the families. Speaking to the media, the officer said that efforts were being made to identify three acres of land for Ashraya sites in the village. “These families would get sites on the land along with other poor families of the village. I have already spoken to the officers concerned to identify the land,” he said.

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