Jayalalithaa urges PM to sanction special housing scheme for 50,000 flood-hit families

Scheme is for constructing 50,000 houses for urban poor who need to be resettled.

Chennai: Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa on Monday urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to sanction a special scheme for constructing 50,000 houses for the urban poor who need to be resettled at a total cost of 5,000 crore as part of restoration works in rain-hit areas.

Stating that the "poor and vulnerable" people, both in urban and rural areas, were worst affected, Jayalalithaa said the government has undertaken an "extensive exercise" of enumerating the affected families.

"Immediate ex-gratia payments are paid out of the Disaster Response Funds. However, this does not permanently rehabilitate them or enable reconstruction of their dwelling places," Jayalalithaa said in a letter to Modi.

Pointing out that 50,000 families living along the banks of Cooum river and Buckingham Canal were affected due to rains, she said her government would be able to accommodate 25,000 families in tenements already constructed by the Slum Clearance Board.

For the 25,000 families, particularly those living along the Buckingham Canal and another 25,000 families residing in vicinity of other waterbodies in suburbs, Jayalalithaa said government has prepared a project to construct 50,000 multi-storey tenements.

"The cost of construction per unit of 380 square foot, including the cost of providing other common amenities, is expected to be Rs 10 lakh per unit. The total cost of this massive special housing project will be Rs 5,000 crore," she said.

Jayalalithaa urged Modi to sanction a special scheme for the state government for construction of 50,000 houses for urban poor who need to be resettled at a total cost of Rs 5,000 crore.

She said the state government would bear the cost of land for constructing such houses.

"Affected families who are beneficiaries of the scheme would not be able to make contribution as per the norms of Housing for All programme.

"It is very essential that a special programme is approved for construction of houses with substantial enhanced Government of India contribution," she said.

For the houses of families, which suffered extensive damage but does not require relocation, Jayalalithaa asked Modi to make a special allocation of Rs 750 crore for 50,000 houses at the rate of Rs 1.50 lakh per house as Central grant.

The state government will add additional Rs one lakh per house to provide a grant of Rs 2.50 lakh per house for reconstruction of houses, she said.

About one lakh huts were partially or fully damaged due to the floods in Cuddalore, Thiruvallur, Kancheepuram and Tuticorin districts, Jayalalithaa said, adding, the government was planning to construct "pucca" houses in rural areas.

"I propose that the construction of pucca houses in rural areas can be funded under the Indira Awaas Yojana scheme with an enhanced unit cost of at least Rs 1.50 lakh per house as a special allocation," she said.

She appealed to Modi to instruct the Ministry of Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation and Ministry of Rural Development "to expeditiously accord the additional special sanctions I have sought, so that the construction of houses could commence without any delay".

( Source : PTI )
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