A house in sight after a 6-year wait

Long wait ends: A view of the new flat complexes coming up at Mathippuram, near the Vizhinjam harbour.  

Subeida’s house at one end of a long line of closely packed houses is marked by a roofing sheet torn on the sides and a damaged metal door with a stone behind it for support. Six years ago, 50 fishing families, including hers, were shifted out of their huts at Mathippuram, near the Vizhinjam fishing harbour, to this plot a kilometre away.

It was part of a rehabilitation plan under the Rajiv Awaz Yojana (RAY) housing project.

The promise was to complete the new flats at the site of their old huts within 15 months, during which time they would stay in the rehabilitation site constructed by the city Corporation.

However, they had to stay here for six years, with the Corporation paying their water and electricity bills. Sixty-four other families, who are also to get houses under RAY, are staying in rented houses in various parts of the coast. Now, the work on the flat complex, for 320 families in total, is nearing completion, with the keys expected to be handed over in two months.

According to Harbour ward councillor M. Nizamudeen, who stays near the rehabilitation camp, the delay was due to reluctance of a few families to shift out of the project site.

Reasons for delay

“Nine families refused to shift for three years. The entire site had to be cleared for work to begin. The police had to be brought in to make them move out. The work on the flats will probably take one more month. A shed for keeping fishing implements also has to be completed. The families will be able to shift by April or May,” says Mr. Nizamudeen.

An official handling the RAY project in the Corporation says that earlier Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) norms also proved a roadblock for the project, as it is located very close the sea.

1,032 families in all

“The RAY project in Mathippuram was envisaged to construct flats for 1,032 fisher families. In the first phase, houses were provided to 222 families. These are spread along the coast, with smaller housing blocks of four or five units each. In the second phase 320 families will get flats. Now, flats for 490 more families remain to be constructed under the project. We are preparing the beneficiary list. Priority will be for those living in temporary camps,” says the official.

Fund allotment

Under the RAY project, the Centre provides 50% of share of the funds for a house, the State government 30%, the Corporation 10% and the beneficiary, 10% of the funds. Some beneficiaries are struggling to arrange their share. The State government’s current housing project LIFE has done away with the beneficiary share.

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Printable version | Apr 14, 2021 5:39:59 PM |

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