Thursday, August 21, 2008

A brand halli

A brand halli
The small hamlet of Somapura now dons an urbane look, complete with water, electricity, concrete houses and well tarred roads. Amrith Jogi offers a dekko.

Sitting in the foyer, Lakshmamma proudly opens the gate on hearing the sound of her husband’s bike. She switches on the fan and goes inside to prepare coffee for him on her brand new LPG stove. Life for Lakshmamma has taken a dramatic turn after Nandi Infrastructure Corridor Enterprise (NICE) built a new concrete house for her. Earlier, she used to stay in a thatched mud house which neither had a compound nor a toilet! But NICE has now shifted her to a pucca concrete house with a compound wall around it. In the true sense of the word, Lakshmamma now leads a city life.

This is not just the tale of Lakshmamma. About 23 families have now shifted to concrete homes of their own. This is Somapura, a small hamlet close to the cloverleaf junction on the Bangalore-Mysore Infrastructure Corridor (BMIC).

One of the 143 villages that NICE has adopted for rehabilitation, Somapura has the semblance of an urban township and was developed at a total cost of Rs 18 crore. The residents of Somapura were not only compensated for the land, but were also given new homes. As a result, new Somapura got 23 concrete houses built in various sizes, with each house having 2-3 bedrooms, a garden, electricity and drinking water facility. The village also has a school, well tarred roads, street lights, cable TV, job training centre, community hall, etc.
The process of rehabilitation has taken almost a year. “We consulted the villagers at every stage. The concrete houses, though planned by us, were allowed to be constructed as per their wishes. For those who wanted to construct on their own, we provided a contractor and instructed him to carry out the works according to the people's requirement,” explains Manjunath Nayaker of NICE.

After the construction of houses was complete, there was a surprise in store for them, something they had never dreamt of. Superstar Rajanikanth was invited to inaugurate the new Somapura. Rajanikanth came down from Chennai and spent a few hours with the villagers, lending a patient ear to their problems.

Krishnappa, a resident of Somapura, recalls, “First, we are happy that we got new houses. Then Rajanikanth visited us. Now we will definitely prosper.”



At Friday, August 22, 2008 at 2:00:00 PM GMT+5:30, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Any eviance or paper cuttings?


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