Alappuzha: Twenty-one fishers left homeless by sea erosion in July 2014, continue to be in camps in Purakkad and Amblalappuzha villages.
As part of the 2014 rehabilitation package, they got three cents of land. But there's no approach road to enter their plots.
They blame red-tapism for their plight and say they have lost all hope of having a roof of their own.
Ponnan, 61, lives inside a portion of the Kari Land Development Agency warehouse along with wife Bhasura for last five years.
They cook, eat and sleep on its floor. There is a toilet, but have no permission to use it during the office time. When the camp opened, there were 11 families. Nine of them left due to shortcomings and took refuge at Sishu Vihar near Medical College Hospital.
Now only two are left.
“Since then, five district collectors have come and gone. We are still here,” Ponnan tells DC.
“Former collector Veena N. Madhavan came here and saw the situation. She cleared files fast and tried to include us on the beneficiary list of the state's housing project. But the fisheries department shot it down under political pressure.”
He believes the main problem is frequent transfers of collectors as soon as they get down to business.
The previous government in 2014 approved three cents of land in Mannumpuram Colony in Thottapally for 21 families - 11 from Purakkad and the rest from Ambalappuzha North- after their the sea washed their homes away.
The district authorities while issuing title deeds had promised to provide access road soon. But private parties who owned the property refused to sell it, delaying the process.
“If we want to transport building materials to the land, we need to have access to a road. Earlier, the private landowners were unwilling to sell the land to the government,” says Thulasi, 48, another inmate.
“Now we heard they are willing to sell the land. We hope the authorities to settle the issue soon.”
V. C. Madhu, former Purakad panchayat president, says they had also given them `50,000 for starting construction.
“The new government changed the project, and many are willing to join the revised scheme,” he said. “But it’s impossible since they have received the initial instalment and they are in limbo. We are now trying to extend the Flat Scheme covering 204 homeless coastal families to them.”...