Housing scheme: Uncertain future worries 16,689 families in Kakinada

With no proper schools in Komaragiri Layout, the beneficiaries fear that their children’s education might be affected.
Houses under construction at  Komaragiri Layout | Express
Houses under construction at Komaragiri Layout | Express

KAKINADA: As many as 16,689 families, all beneficiaries under the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana-YSR Jagananna Colonies scheme, are in a fix as they would have to relocate to Komaragiri Layout in U Kothapalli mandal, a rural area, from Kakinada city.

The shift, the families said, would not be limited to just changing their addresses in their ID cards, but even their status as voters might change as they will be part of Pithapuram constituency. Their bigger worry, however, was that their livelihood could be affected as they would move from an urban area to a rural setup. Most of the beneficiaries run paan and tea shops in Kakinada, which is soon to be established as a smart city. Others work in cloth showrooms, hotels and as domestic help.

With no proper schools in Komaragiri Layout, the beneficiaries fear that their children’s education might be affected. Though the distance between the city and the colony is less, one is an urban area, while the other is a rural region and both fall under different mandals and assembly constituencies.

No one will be forced to relocate, says Collector

MVV Satyanarayana, who runs a paan shop near Kakinada GGH and lives near the old bus stand, said he cannot conduct his business in Komaragiri and added that commuting to Kakinada daily from the housing colony would not be feasible. A tea stall owner in Gandhi Nagar, Saragada Rambabu, expressed concern over the housing colony’s location. He said the area neither has proper drinking water facility nor roads. “In the coming days, the beach road will become very congested as more people will relocate there,” he said.

As a result, over 50% of them are reluctant to move to their new houses. “The area doesn’t have any facilities like proper roads, lighting, drinking water, schools, or even employment,” the beneficiaries reasoned.Asked why they agreed to move in the first place, some said they did not want to lose out on the opportunity of owning a house when the government was giving it, while the others maintained that they were assured to be given house sites in Kakinada city itself.

Pedalandariki Illu, a flagship programme of the State government, was launched from erstwhile East Godavari district. At first the legislators chose Dummulapeta in Kakinada urban limits to establish the housing colony, even before the programme was inaugurated. Later, a few TDP members and NGOs approached the court and challenged the government’s decision, stating that the identified land is a part of a mangrove forest.

Following this, Kakinada City MLA Dwarampudi Chandrasekhar Reddy and the former Agriculture Minister (Kakinada Rural MLA) Kurasala Kannababu met Pithapuram MLA Pendem Dora Babu and chose Komaragiri village in U Kothapalli mandal. Eventually, they procured 650 acres, adjacent to Kakinada - Uppada Beach Road, 15 km from Kakinada city. It is a low-lying area and has saline water supply.

Ironically, the previous TDP government had proposed NTR double bedroom apartments scheme in Dummulapeta.U Kothapalli Tahsildar GVS Prasad said as of now there has been no amendment to give the land to KMC. “If the beneficiaries relocate to Komaragiri, they will be part of U Kothapalli,” he added.While KMC Commissioner K Ramesh said all the housing scheme beneficiaries have to relocate after the houses are ready at Komaragiri layout, district Collector Kritika Shukla maintained that no one would be forced to relocate.

“We are developing Komaragiri Layout with all infrastructure facilities. Construction will be completed within 19 months,” she said.Former TDP MLA Vanamadi Venkateswara Rao found fault with the government for providing houses away from the city and claimed that there are government lands within city limits.

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