Mother Teresa Colony a picture of neglect
Ongole: While the federal government spends millions of rupees for publicity and sensitization of public on open defecation, a demand for toilets from more than 500 families in an enclave named after Mother Teresa Colony has gone unheard for years.
The authorities in Andhra Pradesh state say they cannot take a positive decision since the land on which the colony sits is in dispute.
The Colony was formed in around 10-acre area at the end of Vengamukkapalem in Ongole about 20 years ago. Most residents belong to Backward Classes, Minorities, Scheduled Castes and Tribes. The revenue department issued DKT pattas to the residents about 10 years ago.
But a couple of Dalit individuals claimed that the land was given to them by the government for agriculture purpose but the people occupied and constructed a colony in it. The individuals even attempted suicide at the Collectorate as there is no sign of evacuating the occupied families from the land by the government.
In the meantime, the Mother Teresa Colony was merged into the 18th division of the Ongole Municipal Corporation along with the Vengamukkapalem. The OMC and the government departments provided ration cards, voter cards, electricity, Anganwadi center etc.
When the OMC tried to construct internal roads in the colony, the claimants knocked the doors of the court. Since then the issue is in the legal process to decide the rights of families and the Dalit individuals.
As part of Swachh Bharat campaign, the municipal corporation officials campaigned in the town, including the colony that the people resorting to open defecation would be fined 50 rupees. On the other hand, the colony is developed on the land which is slippery when wet.
It is not possible to go to a longer distance to address the nature’s call in the muddy land. So, the residents are kept asking the municipal corporation as well as the Collector to sanction individual toilets.
Dasari Koteswara Rao, honorary president of Mother Teresa Colony Development Committee, said, “We are unable to go outside in the rainy season and the women and children are suffering a lot.
The Municipal Commissioner has already visited our colony two times and promised to sanction individual toilets, but there is no response from him later. We request the authorities to help us construct the toilets under the Swachh Bharat scheme at least now and live in a healthy atmosphere.”
The civic officials say that the legal issues are obstructing them to take up any construction activity in the colony.
Sankranti Venkata Krishna, Commissioner of Ongole Municipal Corporation said, “Those people and their family members who claim rights over the land of colony obstructed the construction of internal roads earlier. But, we are working out the possibilities to construct individual toilets for each home in the colony. We will definitely sanction orders soon for construction of toilets for them.”