Caught in no man's land

Caught in no man
Highlights

Over 3,000 people living in Ambedkar huts in Mudfort are faced with grave issues every day. Electricity, drainage, increase in washrooms, drinking water are the major issues they confront each day.

Mudfort: Over 3,000 people living in Ambedkar huts in Mudfort are faced with grave issues every day. Electricity, drainage, increase in washrooms, drinking water are the major issues they confront each day. They have been staying here for the last 40 years after migrating from different places like Mahbubnagar, Kurnool and Siddipeta.

• Ambedkar Huts dwellers denied basic amenities for the last 40 years

• SCB, govt at loggerheads over providing basic amenities

• For over 4 decades, water, electricity not being supplied

• State government promises to better their lives but Cantonment Board says the area is Defence land

• Despite possessing ration, voter, Aadhaar and labour cards, poor people treated as illegal residents

Locals say that the Secunderabad Cantonment Board (SCB) and the State government are at loggerheads and, as a result, their fate hangs in balance. TRS party working president KTR is said to have instructed officials to provide electricity meters for the residents. But the issue is kept pending as the Defence Estate Office has objected to it, contending that the area falls under Defence land.

"I have been staying here for 30 years. Governments are changing but we cannot get basic amenities. There is no drinking water and drainage system. We draw electricity from the temple nearby the huts and pay money to them.

In the beginning days, we paid money to a person named Nawab for five years to stay here but then after we got united and stopped paying him," says Tirupathayya, a resident in Ambedkar huts. He further added, "The habitation was started with five small huts and now it grew to nearly 550-600 huts. People in the huts are neither well-educated nor well-employed."

Recently, MLA Sayanna arranged for a borewell and six tanks in which water is stored and used for daily use. This area of 15 acres is divided into two parts. People from Lambadi community stay in one area and the rest in the other. Male residents work as daily wage labourers, construction workers, sanitation workers, auto-rickshaw drivers whereas female residents work as maids in the colonies nearby.

"It is a fact that the place they are staying in belongs to defence estates, but in many such places the electricity board has given connections." says SVR Chandra Sekhar, Chief Executive Officer, Secunderabad Cantonment Board.

"Many people who used to live like us beside our area are now staying in pucca houses, but we can't even get our electricity connections. GHMC officials and Defence estate officers should come to an understanding and solve our problems," says Ashok, a resident of Ambedkar huts.

"We got our ration cards, voter cards, Aadhaar cards and labour cards at this address but there are no basic utilities provided to us. Local leaders come at the time of elections for votes and promise us to better our lives.

Recently MLA Sayanna allotted bore water and washrooms but drinking water remains a big deal for us," says Uttarayya, a resident at Ambedkar huts. "We are getting electricity from a temple as there is no other way. We are ready to shift if we are shown a perfect place to live in," says Dangul, a dweller.

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