25,000 permanent houses for tsunami-affected

`Nearly 303 hectares of land is required in coastal areas'

K. Subramanian

NAGAPATTINAM: Nearly 303 hectares of land is required in coastal areas in Nagapattinam district for construction of permanent houses for the tsunami-affected people, said J. Radhakrishnan, Collector, here on Tuesday.

Talking to The Hindu , Mr. Radhakrishnan said 173 hectares of land had already been identified and acquired for this purpose.

Nearly 25,000 permanent houses would be constructed in 85 places in the district and the site had been identified in 66 places.

Mr. Radhakrishnan said the cost of each house would be around Rs.1.50 lakhs and a number of designs and models were received from various quarters.

`Bhoomi pooja'

The Collector said a number of non-government organisations (NGOs) had come forward to construct houses.

SOS Children's of India, Chatnath Homes, Chennai, Development Promotion Group, a Chennai-based NGO, and Mata Amritanandamayi Math had already performed `Bhoomi pooja' for construction of houses at Pudukuppam near Sirkazhi, Vizhundamavadi, Vanavanmahadevi near Velankanni, Samanthanpettai near Nagapattinam and Tharangampadi.

Mr. Radhakrishnan said the tsunami-hit people now accommodated in temporary shelters in 73 places in the district were being looked after well.

All the temporary shelters are now provided with protected drinking water, good toilets and other basic amenities.

Fishing activity resumes

The Collector said fishermen in coastal areas resumed fishing using the new 500-odd fibreglass boats provided to them by the NGOs.

According to fishermen, the fish catch is good in some places and poor in coastal belts.

They urged the Government to provide chilling plants for storing the fish so that they could get remunerative price as the traders were now offering low price for the fish.

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