Special Correspondent

NAGAPATTINAM: The district administration has initiated verification of permanent houses allotted to tsunami victims following complaints that genuine families were being deprived of the facility.

A random check on the allotment by non-governmental organisations at Andanapettai, Saveriyar Nagar and Mahalakshmi Nagar, among other places, revealed malpractices in the distribution of houses.

The team, which inspected 717 houses, found that 96 of them were allotted to persons who were not affected by the tsunami and, in some cases, to two persons of the same family. Fortunately, the houses were yet to be occupied. The district administration immediately took possession of the 96 houses and cancelled the allotment orders.

Official sources told The Hindu that 32 genuine beneficiaries were allotted houses on Monday. Door-to-door verification of the allotted houses would start soon.

The district administration is taking steps to complete the construction of 4,266 permanent houses before September. It took up construction of 19,986 permanent houses of which 15,270 had been constructed and handed over to beneficiaries by 45 NGOs in 76 locations.

The NGOs were provided 304 hectares of free land by the administration for construction of the houses. They were directed to complete the construction of the remaining houses before September.