SCs in TN's Somayampalayam seek safe houses & water

Built in 1989 by the state government, the houses are beginning to deteriorate and residents fear the roofs may collapse any time.
The concrete roofs of the houses are exposed with skeletons posing danger to the residents.
The concrete roofs of the houses are exposed with skeletons posing danger to the residents. (Photo | S Senbagapandiyan, EPS)

COIMBATORE: A group of twenty-two houses, provided by the state government to people from Scheduled Caste community at Gandhi Nagar in Somayampalayam is in a dilapidated condition. The concrete roofs of the houses have weakened and the rods are exposed to the elements, posing danger to the residents. Additionally, the pipeline has broken and the settlement has not been supplied drinking water for over a year, forcing the people to buy it.

Built in 1989 by the state government, the houses are beginning to deteriorate and residents fear the roofs may collapse any time. Some people have even vacated the houses fearing for safety, but whoever continues to live in the dwellings appealed to the government to build new houses.

While every house has a pipe connection, there is no water supply, forcing residents to rely on public taps in the streets or private suppliers. Despite officials promising immediate drinking water supply, the work was halted midway. It has been a year since the houses received drinking water, the locals said.

“We attempted to carry out repairs to the houses on our own. We have also raised the issue with the district and panchayat administrations to provide safe housing facilities, but no action has been taken. The roofs of most houses are in poor condition, and some houses have damaged walls and doors. We urge the government to demolish the existing houses and build new ones, as we are economically disadvantaged,” said a resident with anonymity.

KP Rangaraj, president of the Somayampalayam village panchayat said the water scheme initiated under the Jal Jeevan mission was interrupted three months ago because the contractor fell ill. “The house connections are almost given and the main line work is pending. We will complete the work within a month,” he said.

When asked about the conditions of the houses he said that they had taken a list for the repair work. “We are searching for land as the area is located in a narrow space and constructing new houses is not possible there,” Rangaraj added.

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