VELLORE: It sounds like a scene right out of Vadivelu’s ‘well missing’ comedy from the Tamil movie ‘Kannum Kannum’, but the parallels stop there. There is nothing funny about the plight of ‘beneficiaries’ of a housing scheme in Nagal panchayat, who have lodged a ‘house missing’ complaint with the KV Kuppam police station.
Eighty year-old Kamatchi, wife of Munusamy, was one among the 10 beneficiaries of Indira Awaas Yojana (IAY). Funds were allocated under the scheme for her house in 2006-07. But, she is yet to see the bricks and mortar of her new residence. “I am still living here,” says Kamatchi, sitting in front a thatched hut in the village.
Her grandson K Tamilarasan filed an RTI with the BDO, and the reply stated that all houses sanctioned had been constructed. “The house was ‘stolen’ after it was constructed. We have lodged a complaint with the police to find the house,” said Tamilarasan.
Panchayat president Jayanthi, her husband Balasettu and their supporters reportedly assaulted Tamilarasan on August 1 for exposing the irregularities. “Instead acting against the corrupt, police filed a false case against six of our family members and relatives,” said Tamilarasan’s mother Selvi. Apart from the octogenarian, the houses of nine other beneficiaries were ‘missing’.
The BDO’s response to the RTI states that a total of 79 houses had been constructed under IAY and Kalaignar Veedu Vazhangum Thittam between 2006-07 and 2010-11. “We submitted a complaint to the police to find the 10 houses that vanished without a trace,” said AAP member Jayaram Venkatesan, who filed the complaint on behalf of the owners of the houses on Wednesday.
Police had initially refused to receive the complaint. After AAP cadre stated that they would not leave the station until a case was registered, cops reluctantly received it and issued a Community Service Record (CSR) copy. “We have also submitted a detailed report along with evidence to Collector R Nanthagopal,” said R Nivanthan Kumaar of AAP.
“We will file a case after getting the direction of the Inspector Srinivasan. As of now, we have received the complaint copy and issued CSR (no 297/2014),” said a police official.