Nearly 70 families living in 40 houses will have to make way for a commercial area
A narrow walkway from the main road at Nadakkavu takes one to the centre of a large courtyard surrounded by around 40 houses on all four sides. Though notified as a slum in government records, the living conditions here are slightly better than the average slum.
The Nadakkavu area development project aims to rehabilitate the families living in this slum and convert this space, which stretches over 1.7 acres, into a commercial area with a shopping complex, parking plaza, and a hotel complex. The families here will be shifted to a proposed residential complex at Kalluthankadavu. This was one of the projects presented at the Emerging Kerala investor meet recently as part of urban infrastructure development.
Most of those who stay in this area are sanitation workers with the city Corporation, and pay a monthly rent of Rs.900-1000, according to their years of service. As per the rules, they have to vacate once they retire from the job. But there are a few who overstay, with nowhere else to go.
“I have been staying here with my family for the past 11 years, and will have to vacate once I retire next year. I am not sure whether my family will get a space in the new flat complex. Thankfully, most of us, except for 10-15 families, have a place to go even if we are thrown out of this space. There are a few who are not Corporation workers but started living here when some old residents relocated. They will not have a place to go,” says Velayudhan, a resident.
Renovation work was carried out in recent years, with a raised cement platform along the periphery of the courtyard to prevent the houses from being flooded during the monsoon. A well was dug. Though three new bathrooms were constructed, these were still insufficient for all the households.
“Though there are only 40 houses, almost 70 families stay here. We have only five bathrooms and four latrines for all of them,” says N. Rajan, who has been living here for the past two years.
An anganwadi within this area employs two instructors who take care of five kids. It is housed in a cramped room with just enough space for seven of them to sit.
“Once the residents are rehabilitated, these kids will be accommodated in an anganwadi in that area. We will be transferred to nearby anganwadis,” says Ambika, one of the carers.
The rehabilitation project, to be executed through a Build-Operate-Transfer (BOT) route, is now in the bidding stage after some delays. “The project has finally got clearance after some delays from the town planner’s side. The bidding process will be conducted soon by clubbing the slum rehabilitation and the commercial complex projects together. The proposed flats at Kalluthankadavu will have facilities for 140 families to stay. It will also have a recreation centre. The vegetable market from Palayam is also proposed to be shifted to this area, to decongest the city centre,” says Mayor A.K. Premajam.
Many are unsure if they will get space in new flat complex Bidding for slum rehabilitation and commercial complex projects soon
Many are unsure if they will get space in new flat complex
Bidding for slum rehabilitation and commercial complex projects soon