Bengaluru: 77-year-old's struggle for a home sees no end

Sharadamma travels 50 kilometers daily to meet government officials.

BENGALURU: While most people dread stepping out of their homes in the blazing sun, a 77-year-old woman, carrying a bag with her dreams packed inside, has been stepping out of her temporary abode daily, hoping against hope for the last 13 years that one day her grievance will be heard by the government. But to her dismay, the elderly woman returns home empty-handed each time, after running from pillar to post to get justice.

Sharadamma, a resident of Anjan Murthy Layout in L. G. Halli in Devasandra, who is the wife of the late Govindaswamy, a tailor, has left no stone unturned to obtain a house under the Ashraya scheme for the poor that was floated by the then Vajapayee government.

Though she was allotted a house in 2002, she never got possession. Government authorities like BBMP, BDA, and even a High Court order has not moved the authorities to get her the site, measuring 30’ x 20’ allotted to her in Singapura Layout in Bengaluru North Taluk by the Byatarayanapura Town Municipal Corporation.

This was in 2002. But she was denied possession. After this she approached the High Court and submitted a petition in September 2014. What was even more shocking was that Shaardamma was not the lone victim, according to her. As many as 230 people have been cheated and robbed of their dream houses in a similar fashion.

“Daily I leave my house with all the documents pertaining to the case in my bag and start my journey to seek justice. It has been 13 long years but I have not lost hope as my late husband wanted to have our own house, for which we paid Rs 8,000. There is no office left in the city I approached them to get my rights, but till today I have been only been shooed away,” said a weeping Sharadamma.

The sad part is that many houses have come up on the sites allotted to the poor. On Sharadamma's site, one Venkatesh, said to be a car driver in Vidhana Soudha, has constructed a building. She had approached the High Court, which passed an order on September 16, 2014 that the authorities should ensure that the woman got her site back.

Yet this did not help her and she had to file a ‘contempt of court case’ against the then-BBMP Commissioner. But the charges were dropped in court as the BBMP submitted that they have sought a grant of four acres of land to enable them to allot an alternative site to the petitioner.

Following this development in March, Sharadamma is waiting to find out the progress made by the BBMP in acquiring the land. "For no fault of mine, I have been shuttling between government offices for the last 13 years. Now, they are telling they will give me a site in another locality. I don't know whether I would still be alive by the time they give me my site," she lamented.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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