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Udupi: Migrant labourers in Nittur slum area struggle for decent living

Harshini Brahmavar / Suvarna Brahmavar
Pics: Umesh Marpalli
Daijiworld Media Network - Udupi

Udupi, Jul 18: Udupi is a developing city that occupies a top place in the state in education, health, and business. On the other hand, the slum area in the city is also expanding day by day.

There are nearly 150 migrant workers’ families from north Karnataka who are staying in thatched huts in the slum colony close to the National Highway 66 at Nittur. According to the residents, there are nearly 300 families there.

Most of the youth and women from the colony work at the Malpe Fisheries Harbour, about six kilometers away. They get paid about Rs 300 per day. About 50-60 children attend the nearby aganwadi and government school at Hanumant Nagar, Ambalpady, and Adi Udupi. One boy is enrolled for his PUC at Garadimajal College.

The teachers or prescribed school vehicles collect the children from the colony and take them to the anganwadi and school. Dhanraj, a resident, said that the children get eggs and milk at the anganwadi.

The youth and women help unload fish from the boats. They go to work at 2 am in the month of August which is peak season, and are back home at 8 am.

These migrants have been living with their relatives since 30 years, but not a single family has a ration card or an ID card.

There is a need to rehabilitate these people to safer areas where sanitation and drinking water facilities are available. A local resident said that they fetch drinking water from the nearby hotel.

Mysore Maruthi, from Gadag, said, “We are living in a pathetic condition; we do not have property as such. My ancestors lived at Eluru Bhavan Malpe, 30 years ago and gradually moved into Nittur. If we get a proper place, we are ready to shift from here. We have survived till now without a ration card, so let’s hope for the good.”

Shankrappa from Lakshmishwar in Gadag district said, “The government should provide us with below poverty line (BPL) ration cards. This will allow us to get food grains at cheaper rates. Many of the government officials have visited us, but it’s of no use.”

They say that their primary concern has been nourishing their children and earning a livelihood which pushes all other worries to the background.

During the time of Dr V S Acharya, he had promised to provide land in Kodibettu, but till now there is no response from the government.

Recently, DC Muddu Mohan visited here, and said he would relocate them to a safer area. The issue is under discussion and the commissioner is free to take all decisions regarding placement of migrants.

Huts standing precariously by roadside continue to defy shifting deadline

Meanwhile, make-shift huts pitched by the side of the national highway near Doopadakatte Brahmavar continue to remain in the same place, though six months have passed since the deadline to vacate them. These huts, standing on the edge of the highway, are located at spots which openly invite accidents. Taking cognizance of these facts, the deputy commissioner of the district, about six months back, had given a deadline of seven days for the eviction of these huts.

All these huts continue to exist at the same spots they were in when the deadline was given. Several families which came from north Karnataka to work in Brahmavar Sugar Factory have settled here. Before the highway was widened, the gap between these huts and the road was considered safer, and hence the danger faced by them was not grave. However, because of the highway widening work, over 50 huts now virtually line up the highway, and hence, face grave risk of being hit by vehicles. This situation poses risk to lives of hundreds of people.

If a heavy vehicle veers away from the path after the driver loses control over it at this spot, there is no doubt that dozens of lives will be lost instantly. Therefore, the officials have a duty to jump into action and ensure that the dwellers of these huts shift their residences to safer spots. This will also bring a sense of relief for the vehicle drivers and passengers travelling in them. 

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Comment on this article

  • Sana, Doha Qatar

    Sat, Jul 19 2014

    Correct me if I am wrong. In the second last picture of the first article where a father and daughter are seen, to the left do i see a laptop.? how did such people who live in such conditions even have money to buy a laptop. I understand they get 300 per day which makes it to about 9000 per month. Dont tell me in that region u dont get houses for cheap rents. these people are just taking advantage of free living and are expecting compensation from the govt. For what.? they dont look unhealthy or sick. they can surely work if they want instead of sitting at "home" and using the laptop. a lil effort can make big changes. its big time the govt steps up n tell these people to vacate to a decent living at their own cost and not to expect sympathy from others.

    DisAgree [7] Agree [8] Reply Report Abuse

  • Rahul Kumar, Mangalore/USA

    Mon, Jul 21 2014

    That is not lap top. That is a portable DVD player.

    DisAgree [1] Agree Reply Report Abuse

  • India First, India

    Fri, Jul 18 2014

    I am seeing these people since childhood and unfortunately Govt & Local leaders are not at all showing any interest in their development !! They may not be vote bank for our political parties !! We also cry for people suffering in Iraq, Palestine etc but not bother about our own countrymen !!

    DisAgree Agree [16] Reply Report Abuse

  • PEDDU, mangaluroo

    Fri, Jul 18 2014


    DisAgree [4] Agree [14] Reply Report Abuse

  • ravi shetty, mangalore

    Sat, Jul 19 2014

    Pramod Madhwaraj's vision 2025. Hows that peddu tit for tat

    DisAgree [3] Agree [11] Reply Report Abuse

  • Peter Lewis, Kalmady/k s a

    Fri, Jul 18 2014

    Before moving to other place one should think of his shelter, children education and so on. God gave us brain to think. Udupi or other place Geographical area will not expand as inhabitants increased day by day. Is there any empty land in Udupi,Mangalore? If Govt rehabilitate those are coming over here locals can not walk freely. Are we heard Malaria, Dengue in Udupi some years ago? Rivers filled with filth water, Garbages and the same water we are drinking adding chlorine. while travelling on Highways one should close the nose. Days are not far becoming one more Mumbai filled with slums.

    DisAgree [2] Agree [7] Reply Report Abuse

  • Dinesh Poojary, Kundapura/Bengaluru

    Fri, Jul 18 2014

    Kannada Medium Schools in Udupi and Manipal are active only because of these Families.

    The people representative from Udupi should urge vasathi sachiva ambareesh to build houses for these families.

    DisAgree [5] Agree [14] Reply Report Abuse

  • Jossey Saldanha, Mumbai

    Fri, Jul 18 2014

    Dinesh, Why not in Kundapura ...

    DisAgree [5] Agree [12] Reply Report Abuse

  • Elias Cutinha, Arva / Nagaland

    Fri, Jul 18 2014

    These Poor Labourers with their hard work for meager income build the houses for us to live comfortably... really pathetic and sad..

    DisAgree [4] Agree [7] Reply Report Abuse

  • Jossey Saldanha, Mumbai

    Fri, Jul 18 2014

    Acche Din Jarrur Ayenge ...

    DisAgree [8] Agree [3] Reply Report Abuse

  • madhu, mangalore

    Fri, Jul 18 2014

    result of 60 yrs of congress rule ..

    DisAgree [12] Agree [8] Reply Report Abuse


    Sat, Jul 19 2014

    Dear Josseybhai,
    This is the developmental mantra of your Madam & company!All these years they have looted our country!enough is enough!

    DisAgree [4] Agree [6] Reply Report Abuse

  • JNB, Bejai

    Fri, Jul 18 2014

    What steps government is taking or will take to rehabilitate these poor people?

    Revenue department only knows to demolish huts and make people to stay under the sky.
    Because of our corrupt government police more than 50% of Indian population homeless, landless,wherever they go officials say this is government land then how people of this nation can get a piece of land to build a house of their own? Those who got acres of land from where they got? up or down? anybody can answer?

    What government will do for homeless and jobless people?

    DisAgree [3] Agree [1] Reply Report Abuse

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