Snakes in the leaky ceiling, steps she can no longer climb, Lutchmin Bharath may have been living at 35-37 Duncan Street for most of her life but now she wants to get out.
The 67-year-old woman who lives alone on the third floor of her Housing Development Corporation apartment building told us she has been trying to get the HDC to relocate her for some years now. Speaking with Guardian Media, Bharath said her many ailments make it difficult for her to climb the three flights of steps to her apartment, meaning if there’s no one around to help her, she will remain stranded in her unit.
“I want to get out from here because I sick so long, if it’s not a shooting, is the place breaking down, I can’t go down the step as I want to,” Bharath said while water droplets fell from the roof following a downpour that ended a few minutes before Guardian Media’s arrival.
“I sick with the arthritis and then I got a stroke one year ago, and then I have fibroids, then I have pains in my hand and foot, I don’t want to stay here anymore.”
Weeping at this stage, Bharath said she has missed several trips to the clinic because she cannot climb the stairs to her apartment alone.
A referral form from the George Street Health Centre lay on one of the tables. It recommended that the HDC relocate her due to her medical conditions. Next to that was a letter dated September 18 2020, written by her daughter, requesting that she be moved.
To compound her woes, last week’s gusty winds blew off a portion of her roof. She said an official from the HDC came to repair it but said he would return to do the rest.
She said he never came back.
Her bed was soaked and water pooled on the hardwood floor.
But over her bed was another hole in the ceiling, however, Bharath isn’t worried about the water that was dripping down from it.
“It has a white snake up there, and he keeps peeping his head out, it has another one there too, I’m afraid the whole thing collapses and they fall on me.”
Bharath said she has been asking the HDC for a flat unit preferably in San Juan where her daughter works during the day.
She said she’s been told twice that there’s nothing that could be done right now.
Well Guardian Media reached out to the HDC and an official was sent two hours later to investigate the claim of the snakes in the ceiling.
Meanwhile, the HDC said it would start repair works on the apartment until relocation is found.
It added that the entire issue will be attended to.