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Probe into squatters at NGO quarters

Staff Reporter
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Tumbledown:A partially collapsed government employees' quarters in Kakkanad.— Photo: H.Vibhu
Tumbledown:A partially collapsed government employees' quarters in Kakkanad.— Photo: H.Vibhu

District Collector P.I. Sheikh Pareeth has ordered investigations into allegations that many of the government servants’ quarters in Kakkanad are illegally occupied.

Mr. Pareeth said the Public Works Department officials would look into the allegations and evict the illegal occupants, including those who have been overstaying in the quarters.

There are more than 500 quarters for government servants in Kakkanad, some of them built as early as 1957 under the aegis of the first Kerala ministry.

An official of the PWD, which builds and maintains government buildings, said there were nearly 100 old type quarters.

Dozens of these quarters lie vacant for lack of repair while parts of some have collapsed. Broken window panes, rotting sills, moth-eaten beams and laterite-and-lime walls on the verge of collapse greet pedestrians who take a walk through the lanes of the NGO quarters area. Hedgehogs have made their homes in many of the unoccupied quarters and overgrown grass hides some of them. Even the condition of some of the quarters that are occupied is pathetic, their plumbing and electrical installations in poor condition.

Many of these quarters could have been saved from ruin, said the resident of a quarter pointing to a wall that had collapsed.

Proposal on backburner

A four-year-old proposal to rebuild the quarters continues to be on the backburner. However, Minister for Public Works V.K. Ebrahim Kunju told The Hindu that a proposal to join hands with the Kochi Metro Rail Ltd. (KMRL) to build a high-rise new complex was still alive. He said that no decision had been taken on the proposal so far. The land area, nearly 30 acres, on which the quarters’ stand would be handed over to KMRL, which would in turn build the new residential complex for the government servants, he said.

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