September 9, 2013 4:00:48 am
Twelve days after two buildings collapsed,killing 11,in Madhavnagar society of Atladara,around 500 residents,who continue to live on the streets,are having to
do with small portions of midday meals being provided by the VMC. These residents have been evacuated from 458 dangerous VUDA apartments.
After the collapse of the buildings on August 28,help had poured in from various quarters and charitable institutions provided free meals to support authorities working for relief. Now,NGOs are slowly receding,leaving half-hearted attempts of the authorities exposed.
Santosh Jadhav,committee member of the society,said,For a few days,NGOs provided us food. Now the VMC has begun serving us midday meals meant for children. We get little khichadi usually; some days there is roti and dal. We have no arrangement for drinking water. The shelter homes are full so most families are on the streets. Some have left their belongings with relatives.
However,VMC Commissioner Manish Bharadwaj said,We are not diverting food from that meant for children. Instead,we have issued additional work order to Akshay Patra,which supplies food for midday meal programme. We have not compromised on quality of food,and will continue to provide them meals as a gesture.
On Sunday,VUDA officials sealed the entrance to building no 31 and 32 in the society,despite protests from residents,who are awaiting alternate accommodation. Those who came to seal
the entrances said that they were ground staff,executing orders of higher authorities. Not a single official has turned up after the first two days when two ministers came here to offer their sympathies, said Jadhav.
When contacted,A C Vyas,Assistant Chief Engineer and Assistant Town Development officer of VUDA,said,We have sealed Block 31 and 32 as the preliminary report of VMC pointed
out that the houses were dangerous to be inhabited and we have been told to evacuate them.
Meanwhile,supporters of Anna Hazare,who were arrested on Thursday after they went on a hunger strike demanding the arrest of VUDA Chairman N V Patel,are preparing to file a PIL in the High Court. Activist Atul Gamechi,who is leading the campaign,said,We are asking residents to furnish necessary documents to be presented in the court. We will knock the doors of the HC next week.
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