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Why are flood-hit homeless one year on, asks Nayak

Special Correspondent



STATUS REPORT:KSHRC chairman

Bangalore: The Karnataka State Human Rights Commission has written to the Government on August 3 asking why it is yet to provide houses to the 63,020 families in North Karnataka devastated by the floods last year, said commission chairperson S.R. Nayak.

Mr. Nayak was on Saturday releasing “Exclusion of Dalits in the Flood Rehabilitation”, a study undertaken by Human Rights Forum For Dalit Liberation.

He said the failure was glaring in the light of the promise made by the Government last year that everyone would be rehabilitated within six months.

“As on August 1, no one had been handed over houses by the Government,” said Mr. Nayak. A few houses built by a private agency had been handed over a week later. He took the Government to task for ignoring what “ought to be the priority.”

In its August 3 letter, the Commission had asked the Government to provide houses to all those homeless by December this year and submit a status report to the commission before January 10 next year, he said.

Expressing concern about the overall deterioration in human rights situation in Karnataka, Mr. Nayak said the protest by the Bhangi community in Savanur, where people poured faeces on themselves demanding housing rights, and the spate of deaths at the Beggars' Rehabilitation Centre in Bangalore were stark instances of people being stripped of basic dignity and rights.

The former Karnataka Backward Classes Commission Chairperson C.S. Dwarakanath said the Government's rehabilitation programmes had shown gross neglect in rescue and rehabilitation.

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