Thiruvananthapuram: The Muttathara housing complex, built to house 192 fisher families, is the first phase of the state's fishermen housing programme. This was a point which Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan repeated twice, during the key handover ceremony of the complex held on Wednesday. It has been named 'Prateeksha'.
The project offers shelter to various families who had lost their houses to sea erosion and have been staying at the relief camps in various schools at Valiathura. It cost Rs 20 crores. The buildings were constructed by Uralungal Labour Contract Cooperative Society (ULCCS).
He said that in the near future there will be pre-primary school and anganwadi facilities for the children in the rehabilitated families. The most important aspect of the future rehabilitation infrastructure is an employment training centre, he said. It will be set up to ensure a secure life for fishers, he said.
He said that the Central Government's erroneous fishing policy was detrimental to the life and livelihood of fishers. He noted that the quality of life was deplorable for over 8 lakhs fishers from 222 coastal villages. In addition to not having enough basic facilities, they have been constantly exposed to calamities like Ockhi cyclone, he said.
In order to address this, the state had chalked out the housing complex as well as a housing scheme, he said.
The scheme offers Rs 10 lakhs for fishermen living within 50 metres along the coast. Of this, Rs 6 lakhs needs to be used for buying land and the rest for building a house.
He said that Rs 41 crores have already been spent on various projects related to Ockhi rehabilitation. 72 families who lost their houses during Ockhi will be given a house, and the ones who lost their work tools will be offered compensation in five instalments.