MoEF clears Nallavadu tsunami housing proposal

Rajesh B. Nair

Coastal Zone Management Authority to monitor construction

Of the total 7,567 permanent houses 4,593 houses have been handed over

Another 1,431 houses in the four coastal villages of Kalapet will be completed soon

PUDUCHERRY: The Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) on Friday cleared the territorial administration's proposal to construct permanent houses for tsunami affected persons at Nallavadu village.

In a notification, the MoEF said the proposal had been cleared under the provisions of Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) Notification. The government had sought accord from MoEF as the proposed tsunami settlement at Nallavadu comes within the 500-metre CRZ, a senior government official told The Hindu.

With the Ministry giving its approval, the Project Implementation Agency would soon float tenders to construct 300 houses for tsunami-affected fishermen residing in the village. The project, taken up at a cost of Rs.18 crore, is funded by the World Bank, the official pointed out.

While clearing the proposal, the Ministry has put certain specific conditions including restricting construction activity in the area between 200 to 500 metres, the sand dunes in the area should not be disturbed, no untreated sewage should be discharged into the coastal waters and there should be a cyclone shelter within the settlement.

The Ministry also directed the administration not to draw ground water and dumping of solid waste within the CRZ area. It also directed Puducherry Coastal Zone Management Authority to monitor the shoreline abutting the proposed construction and in case of erosion at the site necessary steps should be taken, the communication said.

Officials in the Project Implementation Agency said of the total 7,567 permanent houses planned at Puducherry and Karaikal regions so far 4,593 houses have been handed over to the beneficiaries. In about two months, another 1,431 houses for fishermen living in the four coastal villages of Kalapet would be completed.

The rehabilitation project at Kalapet, the official said, is one of the “largest single housing” programme carried out for tsunami affected fishermen in the country.

Small township

“It would be a small township. The settlement would have four anganwadis, one primary health centre, one affluent treatment plant, two shopping centres and a community hall. We are planning to invite either Prime Minister Manmohan Singh or UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi for the inauguration,” an official said.

Around 170 houses completed at Solai Nagar (South) would be handed over to the beneficiaries very shortly. The PIA had set in process the plan to construct the remaining houses at Dubrayapet, Vembakeerapalayam, Kuruchikuppam and Solai Nagar (North).