Two thousand and five hundred houses in 14 districts will be constructed to house Sri Lankan Tamil refugees, now living in 21 camps.

At a rate of Rs. one lakh per house, a total of Rs. 25 crore has been sanctioned. A direction to this effect was issued by Chief Minister Jayalalithaa, according to an official release.

The proposed houses will come up in Coimbatore, Dindigul, Kanyakumari, Karur, Krishnagiri, Namakkal, Madurai, Pudukottai, Salem, Tiruvallur, Sivagangai, Tirunelveli, Tiruvannamalai and Villupuram. Karur is likely to have 465 houses followed by Tiruvallur- 300; Kanyakumari - 270 and Salem - 230.

An official says that it is for the first time that the government will be building permanent houses for the refugees.

At present there are 68,000 refugees in camps across 24 districts.

For them 20,000 houses are required. What has been announced by the government forms parts of the first phase of construction of permanent houses.

The selection of districts has been made keeping in mind two factors – ready availability of land and adequate space on the premises of given camps for temporary accommodation. Also, only those available plots belonging to the Revenue Department and the Rehabilitation Department are taken into account for the purpose of land availability.