Written by Sameer Manekar & Ajay Jadhav
It has been over two months since the Mutha Canal breach near Dandekar bridge led to flooding of 759 shanties, some of which had also been washed away at the Janata Vasahat slum. However, the affected people claimed that they were awaiting financial assistance from the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC).
The state government and the PMC had assured the affected families of rehabilitation as well as financial assistance. The state government had decided to provide Rs 50,000 to each affected family and had sanctioned Rs 3 crore for the purpose. However, as there was an increase in the number of families that had been identified as affected, the district administration, on behalf of the state government, had decided to provide financial aid on the basis of assessment of property loss.
On the other hand, the PMC has sanctioned Rs 11,000 of financial assistance to each of those families that were severely affected and Rs 6,000 to those that were partially affected. According to PMC, 90 families were severely affected, while 669 families were partially affected due to flooding.
Most of the affected slum dwellers alleged that they had not received any compensation nor all affected people had been rehabilitated.
Satish Akhade, an affected resident of the slum and private company employee, whose family of four escaped the flood-like situation, did not receive any relief. “Very few people have received compensation and that too a meagre amount, while most of us have not got any yet. Nobody from the PMC has even cared to visit us here. My wife escaped the flood with my two-year-old son on her head. We lost everything in our home, except for the clothes that we were wearing. How are we supposed to rebuild our lives with such a small amount of compensation,” he said.
“The PMC standing committee has sanctioned a total of Rs 41.40 lakh to be disbursed to the affected people in Janta Vasaha. We will soon start depositing money in the bank accounts of the family head,” said Sanjay Ranjane, deputy commissioner in-charge of slum eradication and rehabilitation department of the PMC.
BJP corporator Dheeraj Ghate said the district administration was depositing the compensation amount in the bank account of the head of the affected family. “There are families who have received the amount and some will get soon. The district administration has conveyed that they are calculating the financial assistance on the extent of damage to the property and would soon transfer the money to the bank account of all the affected people,” he said.
The authorities have accommodated few of the homeless families under the Slum Rehabilitation Authority (SRA) project in Rajendranagar and some of them in the buildings constructed under the Basic Service for Urban Poor (BSUP). “The family members of the severely affected huts in the slums have been given temporary accommodation under the SRA project in Rajendranagar. Later, they will be shifted to Janta Vasahat under the same project,” Ghate said.
Rukmini Kadam, a former resident of the slum, had been rehabilitated under the SRA project. “The builders have asked us to live here for three years. But we are facing numerous problems, including lack of proper water supply, defunct lift and poor electricity supply. To fetch water, we have to climb up to the seventh floor every time. At least provide proper water supply to us.”
The manager in the SRA scheme said, “We are providing water through tankers as we did not get any supply from the corporation. There is water supply in the buildings. Last month, we supplied water through tankers in addition to the supply from the PMC to fulfil their demand. As for the other issues, we are addressing them step by step.”