Sewa bharati is one of the few to fulfil Asare houses
Published: Saturday, Mar 19, 2011One-and-a-half years after flash floods wrecked 14 districts of North Karnataka, it is clear that promises of support remained just promises. Several IT giants and private organisations pledged support and funds in 2009, as the state reeled from the tragedy. Many came forward offering to build houses for flood victims. However, many promises have remained unfulfilled.
Out of 71 donors, 21 companies, including giants like Infosys and Biocon, have only partially kept their word, while 15 donors have backed out. Four donors have changed their stance, offering to donate funds instead of actually constructing houses for victims.
Many NGOs that promised to build homes for the flood hit backed out, as they faced problems in acquiring land for the purpose. While 30,192 houses were supposed to have been built by donors, only 10,877 have been constructed.Among the firms that managed to partially keep their promises were Biocon (promised 972 houses, built 411 so far) Infosys (promised 2,613 and built 1537), Citizen’s Forum (which set out to build 2,936, constructed only 1,615), Coffee Day (Promised 589 houses, delivered 180), Essar Group (1,615, constructed 168), Jindal Steels (2,171 homes promised, built 996), Kalyani Industries (1810; 395), PES institutions (170; 70), Renuka Sugars (885; 364),Seva Bharathi (2,743, 1580), Rajeev Chandashekar (953; 600) and Wipro (415; 212).
Data released by the state government showed that 71 donors came forward to construct houses for flood victims under the ‘Asare’ scheme. Of these, 15 reneged on their promise soon afterwards. Among those who went back on their word are: Bhartiya Seva Dal, Century Group, Chandrashekar Swamiji, Clener Jen Corporation, Can Holdings Group, Dalmiya Cements, Katta Foundation, Kammavari Sangha, L and T Township, Metro Corporation, Mysore Minerals, Wipro Township, MRPL Mangalore, BEML, Bangalore and Seva Raichur.
Unable to deal with the land acquisition problems, four institutions donated money instead of constructing houses — Adichunchanagiri Math promised to construct 4,944 houses but donated Rs10 crore instead; Mysore Minerals promised 1,480 houses but donated Rs10 crore, and BEML offered to build 346 houses, but Rs7 crore, while MRPL promised 330 houses and made a donation of Rs4.95 crore instead.
Chief minister BS Yeddyurappa claimed that 59,266 houses would be built in 294 villages in 14 districts, and would be handed over to flood victims within a month. Officials in charge of the ‘Asare’ houses, however, have categorically stated that the deadline is impossible to meet.
The report released by thegovernment on March 15 showed that work has begun for 49,206 houses. Acquisition of land has caused a hurdle in the construction of 10,060 houses, located in 21 villages. Only 20,070 houses are now ready for occupying; 12,628 houses are at foundation level; 7,725 houses are at lintel level of construction, and roofs are being laid on 8,783 houses.
“There are problems. We have been facing a problem of getting labourers for the work in some villages, and in some other villages, the land is under litigation. By June or July, we could complete over 50,000 houses,” a top official in the state government said.