Slum-dwellers left stranded


Slum-dwellers left stranded. Despite the city having a slew of slum eradication and slum development programmes, there are close to 100 families...

The slum dwellers at Vidyanagar Railway Station were allotted houses at Yellamma Banda six years ago. But, for them it was a one night stand as the very next day the caretaker of the society evicted them for not having proper documents. In a new turn of events the residents of the nearby colonies allege that the slum has turned out to be a hub for illegal activities. The dwellers though contradict it saying that they are protecting the area from robbers. The slum dwellers wonder what is stopping the authorities from housing them in their allotted houses.

Despite the city having a slew of slum eradication and slum development programmes, there are close to 100 families living in huts abutting the railway tracks at the Vidyanagar Railway Station. This slum is in existence for the last three decades. Though the residents were allotted houses at Yellamma Banda in Jagadgirigutta under the slum development scheme, they weren’t allowed to occupy their houses. In a new turn of events, the residents of nearby colonies want to get rid of the slum from the area alleging that it has turned into a hub of illegal activities.

In this regard, BJP state president G Kishan Reddy has written to the GHMC officials in the Prajavani programme on January 20. The letter reads, ‘Most of the beneficiaries belong to SC, BC and minority groups. At this point of time, it was gathered that 28 houses were shown for allotment to the beneficiaries by the RDO, Secunderabad, but the physical allotment has not taken place for reasons out of the purview of my knowledge.’

Madhusudan Yadav, a resident of the nearby colony, says, “Though slum dwellers were allotted houses elsewhere, they have rented them out and continue to live in huts. Of late these have turned into hubs for illegal activities. We have lodged a number of complaints with the Urban Community Development (UCD) wing of the GHMC and the collector’s office regarding this, no action whatsoever has been taken.”

Contradicting the above version, Mohammed Waali, a resident of the slum, who works as a cook in the area, says, “Six years ago, we were told that we could occupy the houses in Yellamma Banda, we agreed and moved. But the very next day, the caretaker of the housing society asked us to vacate the houses. When we told him that the houses were allotted to us, he asked for documented proof. We showed him our ID (Aadhaar card, Voters’ ID and ration cards) but he refused and ousted us from the houses. We do not want to live in these huts either but we are left with no option.”

According to the slum-dwellers the houses that were allotted to them are of a G+2 type and they could easily accommodate all the slum-dwellers. “Our slum has been in existence for the last 3 decades and no one has paid heed to our demands. Slums that have cropped up much later in the vicinity are provided with houses but not us,” Waali laments. The slum-dwellers allege that the residents in the area want to get rid of them. But with no option left they continue to reside in the huts. They are now demanding amenities like electricity and sanitation.

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