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In Kallukuli, The Heart of Coimbatore, Life is in Pits

Even as the nation celebrated its 69th Independence Day , over 1,000 families in Kallukuli near Sungam - do not feel free to live in their houses.

Published: 16th August 2015 04:25 AM  |   Last Updated: 16th August 2015 04:25 AM   |  A+A-

COIMBATORE: Even as the nation celebrated its 69th Independence Day on Saturday, over 1,000 families living in the heart of the city - in Kallukuli near Sungam - do not feel free to live in their houses. They have been waiting desperately for title deeds of their house sites for nearly a decade now.

Pattas are not their only issue. The authorities have not deigned to consider their their basic needs and provide proper drinking water supply, toilets, roads, street lights, drainage, etc.

Kallukuli residents have been living in the area for over eight years. It was only when some people claimed ownership of the land that they started thinking of getting title deeds.

Objections raised by the Coimbatore Municipal Corporation to issuing patta forced them to go to court, seeking justice. The case is pending.

“We approached the High Court in 2006 when the Corporation refused to grant us patta. We expect the court to understand our predicament and to deliver a verdict soon,” said a resident of the area.

There are two to three families in each of the 350 houses spread over 11 acres. Only 50 of the houses have toilets. The rest of the residents defecate in the open.

The Supreme Court’s directive to provide toilets for all houses and the Swachh Bharat mission to ensure complete sanitation have not made any difference in Kallukuli.

It is the only place in the city where the of Corporation’s sanitary inspectors did not conduct the survey to assess sanitation facilities as part of the Swachh Bharat mission.

On a visit to the area, Express met people living in totally unhygienic conditions. Children were playing near waste water flowing out of the congested houses.

In 2010, Kallukuli got power connection, which was a big relief for the residents. Two years ago, they started getting drinking water, but it is only once in four days.

In 2010 itself, the Corporation erected 19 posts for street lights here, but even after five years, they stand like mute spectators to official neglect, without lights or power connections. Requests to repair the dilapidated roads have also fallen on deaf ears.

When Express asked a Kallukuli resident of their Independent Day celebrations, he said, “What celebration? Even if we have the desire to celebrate, it will not be possible. Let us get real freedom first. The mood to celebrate Independence Day will come with it.”



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