Kochi

Stalled housing project for the landless gets a new lease of life

The Corporation council has decided to extend the contract of the company constructing the first tower at Kalvathy, and hand over construction of the second tower to Cochin Smart Mission Limited (CSML), under the mission’s slum redevelopment project.

The Corporation council has decided to extend the contract of the company constructing the first tower at Kalvathy, and hand over construction of the second tower to Cochin Smart Mission Limited (CSML), under the mission’s slum redevelopment project.  

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Families identified under RAY heave a sigh of relief as civic body extends contract

Respite may finally be in sight for around 398 beneficiaries identified under the Rajiv Awas Yojana (RAY) with the Kochi Corporation council approving the decisions that could push the long-delayed housing scheme for the landless forward.

The council, at its meeting on Monday, decided to extend the contract of the company constructing the first tower at Kalvathy, and hand over construction of the second tower to Cochin Smart Mission Limited (CSML), under the mission’s slum redevelopment project.

The Corporation will permit CSML to construct the second 12-storey tower next to the first one, where the civic body’s Mehboob Park now stands. Each tower can house 199 families.

The company’s two-year contract had expired in February last year, after which it had asked for a year’s extension without having to pay a fine.

The delay in construction, which began in 2017, had arisen because work like pile loading, testing and sheet piling had not been included in the initial cost estimates taken for the project.

Since the contractor’s request for an extension was placed before the council in August last year, no unanimous decision could be arrived at in the council meetings that followed, further delaying the construction that has been stalled since last February.

The point of contention in the council was a revision of cost estimates, that could lead to a cost escalation of ₹21 crore.

A project that was to cost around ₹18 crore as per the project report prepared in 2013, would now cost ₹38 crore, factoring in work that was not included in the initial estimates.

“As per the initial agreement, the current contractor would be allowed to complete the work worth ₹18 crore, after which another tender will be called for the remaining work,” Mayor Soumini Jain said.

The beneficiaries heaved a sigh of relief. “We have been waiting for a positive decision on this for several months. We could finally have a home, years after it was promised to us,” said Arifa M.K., who lives in Thuruthy.

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Printable version | Jan 21, 2020 12:36:14 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Kochi/stalled-housing-project-for-the-landless-gets-a-new-lease-of-life/article30562308.ece

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