THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The flash floods and the havoc it wreaked might soon become a thing of the past for the authorities and for those who were not affected by the calamity. But for a section of the residents of Karimadom colony in the city, it would take years for their life to come back to normal.
The flood water affected 160 houses in Karimadom colony; of them, 60 were fully damaged. The people do not have an idea about when they would get the houses repaired or be provided with new ones. There are 560 families living in the colony. The State Government, under the Kerala State Urban Development Project, has been constructing apartments for the residents of the colony for the past few years.
As many as 82 families were given flats in two completed buildings. Others are still living in hut-like houses with very little facilities and in a miserable condition. It was these houses which were destroyed by the flash floods, adding to the misery of the people.
“We do not know when we are going to get new houses. The construction of apartments is going on, but at a very slow pace. It will take at least four or five years for their completion. Till then, how can we live in such a miserable condition?” asked Baby and Padmanabhan, residents of the colony whose houses were destroyed.
Worsening the situation, the colony is facing an epidemic threat also. “The entire waste from the city flooded into the colony. Everything was there, from worms to sanitary napkins. Nobody would have stayed back here other than us. We have no other way. It took three days for us to clean the houses,” said Nazeema, a housewife of the colony.
“After the flash floods, most of us are suffering from fever and itching,” said Surekha, another housewife.Though Health Department personnel came to the colony on Monday and supplied preventive medicines, the residents are not free from fear as an outbreak of epidemics looms over them.
Meanwhile, Transport Minister and local MLA V S Sivakumar, who visited the colony on Monday, gave them assurance about the immediate completion of the remaining apartments.
‘’I have brought the problem to the attention of the Revenue Department. We are trying to give immediate financial assistance for those who lost their houses. Also, I met Minister for Urban Development P K Kunhalikutty for the speedy completion of the apartments to provide better shelter for the residents of the colony,” Sivakumar told Express.
Following a plea from Sivakumar, Chief Minister Oommen Chandy will visit the colony on Wednesday.
The residents hope that the promises would be fulfilled soon, so that a group of desperate people living right in the heart of the city can escape from a hellish life.
Lives Cracked Like Eggs
T’Puram: It was a big blow for Beema. A 50-year-old resident of Karimadom colony, she lost everything in Saturday’s flash floods.
Beema’s husband Muhammed Haneef is an egg dealer who supplies the item to shops in Chalai market. Eggs worth ` 60,000 were kept in their home, a single room shed, which were swept away.
“We have lost everything, even dresses and the vessels to cook. My husband buys eggs with money borrowed from moneylenders and repays it after the day’s business. Though the moneylenders are aware of the troubles we faced, they keep on asking the money,” said Beema.
On Friday, they could not help their life from being washed away. In total, they have suffered a loss of nearly ` One lakh, which is a huge amount for them. Now, they have nothing left and are struggling to find a way even to have food.
The more sad thing is that Beema’s family was offered a home when the government completed the first phase of apartments for the residents of the colony under KSUDP. But it remained only a promise.
Beema’s family, with four children, including two girls, had to continue their life in the same old shed, while 82 other families of the colony were allotted apartments.
They have to wait until the completion of the second or third phase of the housing project.