The thatched roof huts of residents of Mahatma Jyothi Rao Phule Colony in Parlova Peta area of Kakinada caught fire on 29th April 2016. Nearly two hundred and fifty families became homeless in this calamity. The hard work and sweat put in by the residents in building this colony was reduced to ashes. Though the Deputy Chief Minister and Home Minister of Andhra Pradesh, N. China Rajappa, visited the victims and announced that the State Govt. would stand by them, subsequently, the Kakinada City MLA, the Tehsildar (Urban), the RDO in charge, visited the spot and said that the people had encroached on this site and that there was no G.O. to rehabilitate the people on such a site. Due to the mismatch in the voices emanating from the Govt, the people of the area began to lose hope. In this situation, several days after the fire, on 5th May, CPI(ML)-New Democracy along with IFTU and AIKMS led the victims for a Dharna against the Govt’s inaction. Memoranda were submitted to the District Collector, the Joint Collector and the Municipal Commissioner.
In 2012, people who owned no houses cleared the bushes, weeds and grass in the port area here, made the place habitable and built huts for themselves. The port officials and civic officials promptly approached the Collectorate, used police to force the people to abandon the area and fenced the site. The people approached the CPI(ML)-New Democracy and mass organizations for justice and built their huts in the area for the second time. Again the port officials and police intervened and torched their homes, with the people incurring heavy losses of their possessions. A Dharna was conducted near the Collectorate on the demand of filing a case against the police. Subsequently, the people built their huts in the same area for the third time. This time the housing officials, revenue officers and a huge police force crushed the huts with heavy equipment on 11th February 2015.
Cases were filed against the residents and some part of the land was seized back. The remaining land was used by 250 of these homeless families to build homes to live in. Now again their homes have been destroyed, this time by a massive fire, and several of them were injured with some even needing hospitalization. This accidental fire has further impoverished these people as they have lost their identity documents like AADHAR cards, ration cards, old age certificates, pension books, handicap records and amenities provided by the Govt. Despite their pitiable condition, the Govt. of AP has not bothered to provide any relief or remedy. Food, drinking water and health camps have been arranged by voluntary organizations or by philanthropists on their own initiative.
The victims of the fire at Mahatma Jyothi Rao Pule colony, who have lost their homes, must be compensated by the State govt. by giving house pattas at the site, building pucca houses for them, giving monetary compensation, helping them procure duplicates of their burnt identity cards and educational qualification certificates, and helping them better their socio economic conditions.