HYDERABAD: Tucked away in the underbelly of city’s IT corridor in Madhapur, slum dwellers of Patrika Nagar have been making their ends meet through daily wage works for over 10 years now. Thursday morning’s fire mishap has brought nearly 1,500 lives on streets, with all their belongings charred to ashes.
At around 9.40 a.m when 35-year-old L Sunitha was busy with her domestic chores, she noticed fire around her hut. She immediately pulled her children and ran out for shelter.
The fire rapidly spread to other huts and she said several small domestic LPG cylinders exploded in the process. Soon, the entire slum was in flames. “We are all safe but we have lost everything. Whatever money we had saved and kept at our home is gutted and gold ornaments are gone,” said Sunitha.
Another woman from the locality, B Rupa, said that she lost her livelihood too as finding a new shelter was a immediate priority. She demanded government rehabilitate them aptly. “My daughter’s marriage is scheduled for next month and we have been slowly preparing for the same with shopping gold, clothes and other articles. Everything is gone now,” she rued. With the slums being very close to multinational companies that have made Hyderabad their home, dwellers here lament why government fails to rehabilitate the slum dwellers. “Government is interested in giving lands to companies but turns a blind eye to the problems looming large in slums,” she added.
When contacted, Rangareddy district collector, M Raghunandan Rao told Express that the slum dwellers who have lost their belongings in the fire are eligible for `7,900 towards compensation. “As per government norms, we have already given the cheques to 150 families,” he said.
Meanwhile, M Mamta, another resident, alleged that documents of all the slum dwellers were collected and verified by revenue officials two years ago and till date no houses have been allocated. Responding to this, the district collector said that proposals for allocation of double bedroom houses to slum dwellers of Patrika Nagar will be prepared and sent to government for approval. As of now, works for 2BHK scheme is progressing in Serilingampally mandal, he added.