Of the several welfare schemes launched by the Karunanidhi government for the benefit of the poor and the downtrodden, the Kalaignar Housing Scheme stands out, said K. Anbazhagan, Finance Minister.

He was speaking at the function held at the Town Hall here to give away identity cards to beneficiaries under the housing scheme on Wednesday.

Mr. Anbazhagan said that under the scheme 21 lakh huts would be transformed into concrete houses in the next six years. Of these, three lakh houses would be completed this year.

In Cuddalore district, 1,66,327 families had been found eligible to get the benefit under the scheme. This year 26,119 houses would be built and the remaining beneficiaries would be given the identity cards (carrying the photographs of the beneficiaries along with the details such as their names, where and when the houses to be built) during this month.

He noted that at the time of launching the scheme, the Chief Minister had allotted Rs.50,000 for construction of each house but later he raised the allocation to Rs.75,000 per unit.

Mr. Anbazhagan claimed that nowhere in the country so much assistance was given by the government for house construction.

Mr. Anbazhagan further said that in 1972, Tamil Nadu Slum Clearance Board was formed to accommodate the shelter-less poor in the multi-storied buildings. So far, the government had constructed 125 Periyar Memorial Samathuvapurams across the State.

Each Samathuvapuram housed all communities thus paving the way for communal amity. Health Minister M.R.K. Panneerselvam listed out the various schemes, including the marriage assistance scheme and the child delivery assistance scheme, being implemented for the poor.

Collector P. Seetharaman said that the Chief Minister had sanctioned Rs. 195.89 crore for construction of 26,119 concrete houses this year.

The construction work that had been hampered by rain would resume soon.

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