Buildings constructed at Alapad remain unused

The Alapad panchayat in Kollam looked like a ghost town for many days after the tsunami of December 26, 2004. Now, the structures that had come up under the Tsunami Rehabilitation Programme (TRP) are wearing a haunted look.

Most buildings were lying unused. Two such buildings were in the Srayikkad ward — one constructed to accommodate a Community Resource Centre (CRC) and another, a Cluster Production Centre (CPC).

These buildings were inaugurated in August 2010 and formally handed over to the Alapad panchayat to implement livelihood improvement programmes for women from fishing communities.

Equipment installed at these buildings had gone missing. The Fisheries Department, handling the CRC and CPC programmes, on Thursday, wrote to the State government seeking the handing over of these buildings to the department for the implementation of the projects.

In October 2006, the then Fisheries Minister, S. Sarma, announced at Alapad that the CRC and CPC would be the main projects under TRP at Alapad. Under CPC, women were to be trained on non-fisheries livelihood means. It was designed to serve as a common selling point for products manufactured by activity groups called Theeramaithri units.

Over a hundred such units were created and funded for the purpose. Packing facility, a godown, modern kitchen, store for finished products, hot water and solar heating facilities, a quality testing laboratory, chilling room, biogas plant, and outboard engine repair units were envisaged under the project.

The CRC project envisaged a training hall with modern training kits, a library, sanitary complex, canteen facility, open auditorium, mosquito-proof storage rooms, rainwater harvesting facility, playschool, banks, sales outlet, generator room, and an information technology centre.

All civil constructions were proposed to be disaster-resistant. Only 18 activity groups are alive now.

E-development, e-governance, e-health, and e-commerce modules were envisaged to be set up in the project area with partnership from corporate houses. Discussions were held with the Regional Cancer Centre to set up a telemedicine centre.

Alapad panchayat president R. Rajapriyan told The Hindu that the panchayat lacked the financial capability to carry out such a huge project. He welcomed the move by the Fisheries Department to put the buildings to good use. Otherwise, the government should come out with some package to implement the CRC and CPC, he said. “As of now we are helpless,” he added.

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