TAMIL NADU

Construction of houses for slum dwellers begins in city

Special Correspondent

A total of 29,845 houses will be constructed at a little over Rs.1.12 lakh

COIMBATORE: Basic Services for Urban Poor project that envisages houses for the slum dwellers has taken off in the city. Ten individual houses, each measuring 260 sq.ft., have reached the basement level at Ondipudur near the eastern border of the city.

The scheme is being implemented under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission, the Central Government’s infrastructure development programme. Coimbatore has been chosen for this project as it is one of the 63 mission cities across the country.

Totally, 29,845 houses are to be constructed at a little over Rs.1.12 lakh across the city to provide concrete houses, streetlights, drainage and adequate supply of drinking water to people living in appalling conditions in slums, including those on water bodies. While 3,840 houses are to be constructed under the supervision of the Tamil Nadu Slum Clearance Board, the rest will be under the Coimbatore Corporation.

The construction under the board would be done on 15 acres at Ammankulam and another 15 acres of the Corporation at Ukkadam.

Inspection

After inspecting the construction site on Monday along with Mayor R. Venkatachalam and Deputy Mayor N. Karthik, Corporation Commissioner P. Muthuveeran said 59 houses would come up in the initial phase that had taken off for the people of Noyyal-Bannari Nagar slum at Ondipudur. Apart from the 10 that had reached the basement level, works were on with regard to the others. The Mayor enquired about the progress of the construction with the slum-dwellers. The Corporation’s East Zone Chairman S.M. Samy was present.

“We will release in a couple of days the first instalment of funds for the ten houses that have reached the basement level,” the Commissioner said. Funds release would be in three instalments: basement, lintel and after completion of the house. It was left to the beneficiaries to spend more money on their houses.

Masons

As many of them were masons, they would know how to make construction economical, he said. Thatched and tiled-roof houses in slums on patta lands would be replaced with new ones under the project in the first two phases. The third phase would involve re-locating 9,600 families now encroaching water bodies, road margins and living along railway lines. Each beneficiary-family would have a flat in multi-storeyed tenements (ground plus three floors) that would be built after alternative sites were acquired. Technical sanction for this phase was awaited, Mr. Muthuveeran said. Initially, the scheme envisaged construction by the Corporation and the handing over of the houses to the beneficiaries. A beneficiary contribution of 15 per cent of the cost of each house had also been fixed.

Following a reworking of the scheme, the implementing agency would now only release the funds in three stages while the beneficiaries themselves would have to take up the construction of the houses.

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