The Slum Board quarters at Kudlu, off Sarjapura Road have more than a 1000 flats, mostly vacant, even as the families evicted from Ejipura who landed there, struggle to find houses. What are the Slum Board's plans for them, then?
When 900 families of Ejipura slum were thrown out last month, it was chaos for the families. While most have dispersed across the city, trying to find housing, about 55 families have moved into a Slum Board quarters in Kudlu, along Hosa Road (off Sarjapur Road). About 80 families (450-500 people) remain in the footpath near the Ejipura site as they could not afford alternate housing.
Many families stayed out for days initially, even though most flats in the complex were vacant. Pic: Navya P K
Most of those who are in the Kudlu quarters, reached here by accident. They claim that supporters of MLA N A Haris (in whose constituency Ejipura falls), had dropped them off here. "During demolition, they got us into a tempo with our belongings, promising to give accommodation. We were dropped here. We do not know why they did this, as this place is meant for others," says Pinto, an Ejipura evictee.
A few others from Ejipura came here later, on knowing about those who came first. There are about 200 Ejipura people here now. Some 5-6 families have managed to find houses for low rent nearby. About five families moved to another older Slum Board quarters nearby, which is already occupied, but had some houses on rent. For the remaining families, about 45 of them, finding flats in the Kudlu quarters is still an issue.
Kudlu quarters. Pic: Navya P K
The paradox is that majority of the flats here are vacant. Though this project was completed in 2011, Karnataka Slum Development Board (KSDB) is yet to allot most flats.
The quarters has 1076 flats, and only 208 have been allotted so far. The current state of the quarters does not inspire much faith in Slum Board's rehabilitation programmes - allotments have lagged, basic facilities have been lacking, and it is said that flats are sold illegally. The quarters was built under JNNURM.
The flats here are spread across two complexes. One complex, with 544 flats, is for those displaced from different slums across the city. It is in this complex that Ejipura evictees are living now. H M Shashidhar, AEE at the Board in charge of the project, says that construction started here in 2009, and that allottees started staying from 2011.
A flat in the Kudlu quarters, where an Ejipura family has moved in. Pic: Navya P K
The 208 families staying here, include those displaced from Arasu Colony in Gandinagar (107 families), Geddalahalli near Sanjay Nagar (73), and 28 families displaced from the Board's former quarters which was in one part of the Kudlu site itself. That quarters was demolished and the land given to BWSSB to build a reservoir. Except the 73 families from Geddalahalli who came here six months back, others have been staying in the new complex since 2011, for about 1.5 years.
The Board is still preparing the list of people for whom the remaining 336 flats here will be given. Shashidhar says that this list was approved in a Board meeting couple of months back, and that the final list will be available in a week.
Though people have started staying here from 2011, much of the infrastructure works were not completed at the time - electrification, laying of main sewer lines etc were not done.
- 1076 Total flats in Kudlu quarters
- 208 flats allotted earlier (plus 512 being done now)
- 55 Ejipura families landed here
- 5 staying in nearby quarters
- 5 found houses nearby
- 39 staying in some flat they found on rent or just moved in
- 6 Ejipura families yet to find flats
Water supply is also an issue - there are 2-3 common taps now from which everyone is drawing water. Officers say that individual supply lines have been laid, but water is not coming in pipes since ground water level is very low in this area. They say that there have been cases of thefts, and of anti-social elements misusing and damaging the vacant flats, breaking windows etc.