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Permanent houses given to fish vendors, petty shopkeepers

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SAFE HOMES: Collector R.Palanisamy handing over the keys of permanent houses built by TNRC at Chinna Kottakuppam in Villupuram district on Saturday.
SAFE HOMES: Collector R.Palanisamy handing over the keys of permanent houses built by TNRC at Chinna Kottakuppam in Villupuram district on Saturday.

Special Correspondent

Tamil Nadu Slum Clearance Board to convert 670 huts into concrete structures

VILLUPURAM: Collector R. Palanisamy inaugurated 38 permanent houses and a community hall built by the Chennai-based Tamil Nadu Relief Committee (TNRC) for the tsunami affected non-fishing community at Chinna Kottakuppam near here on Saturday.

According to sources, the TNRC had purchased 1.1 acre and constructed the houses, each measuring 325 sq.ft., at a total cost of Rs 1.25 crore.

The habitation has been named as “Samarasam” (harmony/equality). The beneficiaries are fish vendors and petty shopkeepers.

Mr. Palanisamy said that Kottakuppam was facing the threat of sea erosion.

Based on a spot assessment made by him and Higher Education Minister K. Ponmudy, the State government had sanctioned funds for the construction of a protective wall along the coast and a portion of it was completed.

The Tamil Nadu Slum Clearance Board would convert 670 huts into concrete structures. Of 3,067 permanent houses sanctioned for the district — 2,292 to be built by NGOs and 775 by the government — 2,237 were completed and handed over to the beneficiaries.

With financial assistance to the tune of Rs 4.68 crore from the Asian Development Bank and the World Bank, cement and tar roads were laid to a distance of over 21 km.

A building for self-help groups (Rs. 27.5 lakh) and a solid waste management system (Rs. 36 lakh) was put in place. Mr. Palanisamy promised the people to provide electricity, drinking water and other facilities in the new habitation.

K. Dhanraj, MP, said that to contain sea erosion, he had sanctioned Rs. 15 lakh prior to 2004 for erecting a bio-fencing with palm trunks. A. Shabbir Ahmed, president of the Jamaat-e-Islami Hind (Tamil Nadu and Puducherry), said that its service organisation, TNRC, was providing assistance to victims of natural disasters, including earthquakes and the tsunami, and communal riots.

The TNRC had built 160 permanent houses at Nagore, Pudupattinam and Kottakuppam, given away fibre boats with engine and fishing nets, and livelihood assistance to hundreds of families, Mr. Ahmed said.

H. Abdur Raqeeb, general secretary of the Islamic Foundation Trust, said that the beneficiaries should have a resolve to educate all their children.

The community hall would be utilised for imparting adult education, giving free tuition to students and counselling for livelihood measures.

Ahmed Meeran, Managing Director of Professional Couriers, Faizur Rahman Madani, Principal of Women’s Arabic College, Imran Sait, coordinator, and Banumathi Jayamoorthy, panchayat president, participated.

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