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Neighbour’s envy

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OLD ORDER changeth: One of the old houses amidst a row of new houses under construction at Gopalapattinam near Meemisal.
OLD ORDER changeth: One of the old houses amidst a row of new houses under construction at Gopalapattinam near Meemisal.

M. Balaganessin

They said “no” to tsunami houses earlier but

now want one for themselves too.

PUDUKOTTAI: The quality of 2,343 houses constructed under Rajiv Gandhi Rehabilitation Package in the tsunami-hit coastal blocks of Avudaiyarkvoil and Meemisal blocks in the district has become a neighbour’s envy, with a few persons, who had earlier opted out of the package, now pleading for the inclusion of their names.

Each house on a plinth area of 325 sq. feet is being built at an expenditure of Rs.2.38 lakh by the Pudukottai Tsunami District Implementation Unit after careful scrutiny of beneficiaries by the Revenue Department and an assessment of the list by a non-governmental agency.

As per norms, the package covers those who had been allotted group houses under schemes such as Indira Awaas Yojana about a decade ago. Suspecting the quality of the houses before the launch of the package in the district, a few coastal residents had opted out of the scheme.

But, the work on the construction of the house which commenced on January 26 this year, has made them raise eye-brows. Raw materials are brought from distant places such as Karur. “The quality in construction, among other things, includes setting up of a raft foundation up to a depth of five feet below the ground-level; a base concrete; nine reinforced concrete columns; and a grade beam,” says Collector D. Uthirakkumaran.

He points out that the state government has come forward to supply steel, following a plea by the contractors in the wake of rise in the prices of this material. “The Pudukottai district would be largest beneficiary, as a major work is being executed now,” he said.

He clarified that it was too late now to include the name of any new beneficiary. However, the possibility of new names would be explored in case the identified beneficiaries opted out of the scheme. None of the eligible beneficiary had been omitted so far, he added.

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