Kerala

Ten years hence, beneficiaries continue wait for houses under Ashraya project in Kasaragod

The unfinished houses constructed under Ashraya scheme at Nullipady in Kasaragod.

The unfinished houses constructed under Ashraya scheme at Nullipady in Kasaragod. | Photo Credit: SPECIAL ARRANGEMENT

In 2012, when Kasaragod municipality decided to construct houses under the Ashraya project for destitute families, it gave a ray of hope for beneficiaries like Pushpa and her differently abled child to get a roof over their heads.

But ten years down the line, the 14 beneficiaries selected under the project are yet to receive the promised houses at Nullipady. Instead, there is a skeleton structure of unfinished houses covered by creepers, and trees that have grown tall. Making matters worse, the project site is now frequented by anti-social elements.

“I have run from pillar to post for the house. But all my plea has fallen on deaf ears,” said Ms. Pushpa, who lost her husband eleven years ago and is now living with her mentally challenged child at her brother’s house in Aramanganam.

Geeta Sundaran, another beneficiary residing in a rented house, said that the officials blame the contractor for not completing the work. Ms. Geeta said that the officials had initially identified land in Chala, where they had planned to provide three cents each for the construction of the houses. “Later they shifted the site to Nullipady and reduced the land to 1.5 cents each,” she said.

Former BJP ward councillor K. Shankara said that he had raised the issue several times in the council meetings. “The Welfare Standing Committee chairman said that they have paid the contractor for the completed work. However, the contractor denies this and blames the municipality for withholding ₹3.5 lakh,” Mr. Shankara said.

V.M. Muneer, the present chairman of Kasaragod Municipality said, “The past governing bodies have to be blamed for the delay. As per records, the amount should have been transferred to the beneficiaries. How the contractor was included needs to be investigated.”

The municipality cannot allocate another fund for the project’s completion and they would look at various other means such as corporate social responsibility, he added.


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Printable version | Jun 26, 2022 9:37:30 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/ten-years-hence-beneficiaries-continue-wait-for-houses-under-ashraya-project-in-kasaragod/article65567341.ece