TAMIL NADU

Long wait for houses continues in Puducherry

WORK APACE: Houses being built for fishermen at Veerampattinam in Puducherry. Photo: S. S. Kumar

WORK APACE: Houses being built for fishermen at Veerampattinam in Puducherry. Photo: S. S. Kumar  



Rajesh Nair

A majority of the victims live in their old houses, and some in temporary shelters A majority of the victims live in their old houses, and some in temporary shelters

PUDUCHERRY: The tsunami victims' long wait for permanent houses continues even two years after the tragedy.

A majority of the victims still live in their old houses and some of them in temporary shelters built where their homes once stood.

The Government proposed to construct 7,567 houses for fishermen in 15 coastal villages of Puducherry and 19 villages in Karaikal.

As of now, the Government has completed only 1,101 houses. These too have been built by several non-governmental organisations and Project Implementation Agency, which the administration floated for rehabilitation.

Unoccupied

However, 98 houses built by the Uttaranchal-based Project Hope India Heritage Research Foundation at Pannithittu here and handed over on December 13 last year remain unoccupied. The villagers refused to move in, as the total number of houses needed was 460.

"Steps are being taken to speed up the process," said G. Theva Neethi Dhas, Collector and Additional Secretary, Relief and Rehabilitation.

As for permanent rehabilitation, he said another 3,787 houses were nearing completion. A visit to the villages showed at least 1,500 units were ready for occupation.

The Government had also come out with a solution to rehabilitation of people in seven coastal villages along East Coast Road and near the town, he said.

Relocation of people

The process of relocating the people in the seven villages had run into trouble, what with differences of opinion between the victim's families and the host population and the non-availability of land in the urban area. So, the Government decided to financially assist the villagers by handing over the cost of construction to the victims. "Once the construction of these houses begins, permanent rehabilitation will enter the final stage," he said.

The Government had acquired 100 acres at Puducherry and 150 in Karaikal for permanent rehabilitation.

Flow of funds

As far as the fund flow, the Government had received Rs. 100 crore last year, and another Rs. 120 crore this year under the Tsunami Reconstruction Programme of the Planning Commission.

This was besides Rs. 185 crore approved by the World Bank under the Emergency Tsunami Reconstruction Programme.

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