Special Correspondent

CUDDALORE: Under the Rajiv Gandhi Rural Package a total number of 3,618 permanent houses will be built in the vulnerable coastal areas in Cuddalore district, according to P.Seetharaman, Collector.

A new component is also proposed to be added to the early warning system installed on the shores. At present voice alert system or a facility for sounding a siren was provided in the coastal villages.

It could alert only the people on the shore and therefore to give a caution message to the fishermen in mid-sea it is proposed to send SMS to them. Giving an overview of the reconstruction works under way in the tsunami-affected coastal villages, the Collector told The Hindu that of the proposed 3,618 dwelling units 1,940 would be set up in the rural areas and 1,678 in urban areas. In the rural segment, 1,589 houses were under various stages of construction, while 523 had been handed over to the beneficiaries, plastering work was going on in 600 units and roof was being constructed in 466 others. All these houses would be ready by March 31, 2010, he said.

The Tamil Nadu Slum Clearance Board would take up the construction of the permanent houses in the urban areas.

In the first phase the non-governmental organisations had constructed 2,323 permanent houses. Giving an account of other works the Collector said the Rajasthan government had constructed a building at a cost of Rs 1.40 crore for the Sathya Ammaiyar Memorial Government Orphanage, an old age home at an estimated cost of Rs 60 lakh from the MP Local Area Development Funds and Seva Illam for Rs 1 crore by the Indian Heritage Research Foundation, Rishikesh.

Aid for children

Mr. Seetharaman further said that under the Prime Minister Child Assistance Scheme an amount of Rs 51,000 had been put in fixed deposits in the names children below 18 years who had lost one of their parents in the tsunami disaster. From the interest accruals the banks would pay Rs 300 a month to the surviving parent.

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