DHENKANAL: It has been nearly three months since the arson victims of Kamedhenukote village under Dhenkanal Sadar block are living under the canopy of polythene sheets. This despite the fact that the State Government had sanctioned funds under Indira Awaas Yojana for the 21 families whose houses were reduced to ashes on February 12.
With the main accused Pratap Swain still at large, the families continue to fear for their lives despite the police deployment in the village. The police have so far arrested 21 persons in connection with the arson. The houses of the Dalit community were allegedly set on fire by the defeated sarpanch candidate Swain and his 150 supporters on the fateful night.
However, it’s the monsoon ahead that has them worried. They already have to make do with the untimely rain and thunder accompanied by lightning.
Sadar Block Development Officer Susil Kujur said the layout had been finalised and work would be taken up soon. District Welfare Officer PK Das too said that he was facilitating and coordinating the work.
Meanwhile, the families have been provided work under MGNREGS at a nearby village, said ADM Babji Charan Das.
He had earlier distributed ` 10,000 each among the affected families as immediate relief.
The Saturday saw some opposition to the house building work. The nearby villagers opposed use of their road for transporting material. They also protested construction of houses by a contractor hand-picked by the Sarpanch. They instead want the block office to execute the work.
Orissa State Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe Youth and Students Council president Haladhar Sethy recently met the district authorities urging them to expedite the rehabilitation measures.
While the victims hope that the layout plan soon take shape of concrete structures, Collector Bishnu Prasad Panda has sought ` 1 lakh each for the families from Jagjiwan Foundation for their rehabilitation and resettlement.