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Additional proposal sent for new houses for violence-hit Dalits

Staff Reporter
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Altogether, 136 new houses are to be built in the three Dalit colonies

Kosi Mathew, director, Manasa (right), giving away aid to violence-affected Dalit families at Natham Colony in Dharmapuri district.— Photo: Special Arrangement
Kosi Mathew, director, Manasa (right), giving away aid to violence-affected Dalit families at Natham Colony in Dharmapuri district.— Photo: Special Arrangement

The district administration has sent to the government an additional proposal for constructing 99 new houses for Dalits whose dwellings in Natham, Kondampatti and Anna Nagar colonies were ransacked and torched by a mob of caste-Hindus on November 7. Clearance for this proposal is awaited, District Revenue Officer P. Ramar said on Thursday.

Mr. Ramar told The Hindu that the government issued orders on December 10 for construction of 37 houses in the first phase. With the additional proposal, 136 new houses were to be built in all the three violence-affected Dalit colonies. As per the district administration’s proposal, those who lost their houses completely will get a 300 sq.ft dwelling built at Rs.2.7 lakh.

The initial survey by revenue officials had put the number of totally damaged houses at 40. A protest by the residents of the colonies led to a fresh survey to arrive at the new figure.

The authorities said that they now faced resistance from the victims to implementing the first phase as they want clearance from the government for the second phase also so that the construction could begin simultaneously.

On their part, the officials said the rehabilitation would be easy if the first phase was taken up soon, before getting the clearance for the second one.

Meanwhile, a Bangalore-based human rights organisation, Manasa, distributed assistance worth Rs.23 lakh to 403 dalit families of the three colonies on Thursday.

The materials were handed over by the organisation’s president Kosi Mathew. The DRO, the State’s special representative to the National Child Rights Commission Henri Tiphagne and representatives of People’s Watch were present.

The Dalit families were given stainless steel utensils worth Rs.1200, a kerosene stove worth Rs. 400, clothes and study material and toys for children.

Speaking to reporters, Mr. Tiphagne said the European Union, consisting of 29 countries, has passed a resolution at Brussels, condemning the November 7 violence in these colonies.

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