With no roof over heads, Anna Nagar families struggle to get back on feet

new delhi: Weeks after losing their homes in the first spell of heavy rains Delhi saw this season, residents of Anna Nagar near Indraprastha metro station long for roofs over their heads as they survive in a makeshift camp set up by the local MLA in the area. Rekha, who was shifted to the relief camp soon after her home was washed away in the rain, was washing her clothes in Anna Nagar as her sister stared into the abyss where their home stood.

According to the Public Works Department, the jhuggis that were destroyed in the rain due to an overflowing drain shared a wall with the under-construction building of the World Health Organisation in the area and the construction wall erected by the contractors there had created a blockage in the drain, which had led to it overflowing and washing down up to 12 homes.

Locals also blame the construction work for their plight. "This building just opposite the destroyed homes is for the World Health Organisation (WHO). A few months back the work started and they dug an almost 6 story deep underground hole. This stopped the flow of the debris, which collected in the hole and when the heavy rains splashed on that fateful day, the nala overflowed and took away our home with it," Rekha said.

She and her family have been living in the relief camp, wearing the same set of clothes they had on when their home was destroyed. Her father Shyam Saran, who lived next to them also lost half his house in the rains. All of them somehow managed to rush out of their home in the nick of time.

The 70-year-old retired karmachari along with his wife is taking shelter in a nearby temple at the clustered colony. "We have been living here for 40 years and have seen all sorts of floods and earthquakes, but never have we gone through something like this," he said.

Rekha and her sister both are in shock and have no idea how to revive their lives. "This took away everything from us. We have nothing left. We could not even take anything from our homes as everything happened so suddenly," she said looking at the debris, which was her once her home.

Meanwhile, families of the 12 destroyed homes have been shifted to a relief camp just opposite the road. However, the conditions are deplorable with no mattresses or food available. The families are seen sleeping on the floor with just a green carpet spread over. Pushpa and her husband also lost their home in the rains. "It happened so suddenly we had no time to spare. There were some people opposite the nala who were making videos and when they saw the sand crack beneath our house, they shouted our names asking us to run away," Vishal, Pushpa's husband, said.

Delhi government sources, meanwhile, said no compensation had been announced as of now.

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