Out of the 1,435 families living in Navalur Kuttapattu village panchayat, 529 have been declared as Below Poverty Line (BPL) families by a government survey that used data from the 2001 Census report. Scoring between 2 and 17 on a scale that measured their family income, land ownership, length of stay at the village, clothing and cattle among others, these families (listed in ascending order of score) are the beneficiaries of the Chief Minister's Solar Powered Green House (CMSPGH) Scheme. On February 13, Chief Minister Jayalalithaa handed over the keys of the first house to be completed under this scheme to Fathima Gani and Fakeer Mohammad from this village.
Their house, along with three other houses in the village, is among the 21 houses sanctioned in Manikandam Panchayat Union in the Srirangam constituency. The houses in other parts of the district are under various stages of construction and likely to be completed by April, officials said.
“Under this scheme, the government has allotted 2,206 solar powered green houses for the district for the current year,” said Collector Jayashree Muralidharan.
The beneficiaries must own the patta to their land, which must be at least 3 cents in area. “The CMSPGH scheme houses are bigger in size (300 sq. ft.) than the ones built under the Indira Awaz Yojana, have an attached bathroom and use a green source of energy.”
Besides the four houses in Manikandam panchayat union, one more has been completed in Musiri. A sum of Rs.1.8 lakh has been allocated for each house, out of which solar panels worth Rs. 30,000 are being provided by the Tamil Nadu Energy Development Agency (TEDA). All houses have a hall, a bedroom, a kitchen, a veranda, an attached bathroom and the solar panels installed on the terrace can power up to five CFL lamps.
“Power connection has been provided for the use of other electrical appliances,” said Shankara Jothi, Executive Engineer, DRDA, adding that the beneficiaries could add wooden doors, windows, kitchen countertops and cupboards using their own fund.
While Fathima Gani has spent about Rs.1.45 lakh, Sengamalai, another beneficiary has spent over Rs. 2 lakh as her house has tiles and she employed external labour for the construction. “Seventy per cent of the total number of allotments has been reserved for BCs, 29 per cent for SCs and 1 per cent for STs,” said Ms. Shankara Jothi.