Over 28,000 people have been selected in the district to receive financial assistance
His contributions to the speedy implementation of the Kalaignar Housing Scheme in Erode district have earned him a good name in the government. District Collector T. Soundiah also has become popular among the farming community in the district for his role in getting the approval to execute two long-pending projects in the district–the Integrated Turmeric Complex and the Terminal Marketing Complex for agricultural produce. Mr. Soundiah shared some of his experiences in implementing the development programmes in a chat with S. Ramesh.
“Kalaignar Housing Scheme is one of the most welcomed government programmes in Erode district, as it has helped people to climb the social ladder.
Most beneficiaries in the district view this scheme as a great opportunity to create a permanent asset for themselves, besides fulfilling their dream of owning a house,” Mr. Soundiah said.
“In fact, we have a significant number of beneficiaries who have invested additionally to build a few more rooms to their houses.
Over 28,000 beneficiaries have been selected in the district to receive financial assistance for constructing houses under this scheme.
The amount sanctioned for these beneficiaries will be released in a phased manner, and the government will help them complete the construction before the end of 2016.
“In the first phase, we have selected a little over 4,900 beneficiaries. Over 75 per cent of the houses have been constructed. The rest are under various stages of construction,” he said.
“The only problem we faced during the scheme's implementation was the rise in the prices of bricks. But we sorted it out quickly and instructed the brick kilns to sell the bricks at reasonable rates. We even got a few of the units to return the extra money paid by the beneficiaries of the scheme,” Mr. Soundiah said.
He also said that the officials in the district were working overtime to finish the construction works within the deadline.
“We will be able to finish all the works before March,” he assured.
Talking about other development programmes, the Collector felt that the agriculture sector in the district needed more technical assistance for improving crop yield and cultivation practices. “The official inputs are not adequate. Two projects, integrated market complex for turmeric and the terminal marketing complex for various agricultural produces, have been cleared recently. Plans are now being made to bring in more facilities to the farmers,” he said.
The Collector, however, said Erode district was known for entrepreneurship. “The resilience and ability of its people to find opportunities even in the most trying of circumstances is amazing. I have a strong hope that people in the district, with help from officials, can solve any issue easily,” he said.