Alappuzha: Life will no longer be the same for P.T. Subrahmanyan, 38, and his family of Pandanad west, who have been living in a house shattered not only by the floods but a low-flying rescue helicopter in August last. The Joyalukkas Foundation, the Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) arm of jeweller Joyalukkas, will build a 495 sq-ft house worth Rs 5 lakh for them. He was chosen as a beneficiary of the foundation's scheme to build some 250 houses across the state under the rebuilding efforts after this newspaper carried a report about him titled 'Flood-hit loses new house by a whisker' on December 22 last.
His family consisting of his wife Sreelekha, two kids Theertha, (class II) and Thejas, (UKG) and an ailing mother, 73, had virtually become homeless when the flood water nearly submerged his house.
The government officers who prepared the beneficiary list under 'Rebuild Kerala' had turned down his application for a new house as it was recorded that the house had suffered only 74 percent damage. If the officials had marked 75 percent, he would have got a new house under the government scheme.
Subrahmanyan, who is now busy clearing the hurdles in the land ownership, said, "the land was under my and my sisters' ownership. I've secured the consent of my sisters and also got a no-objection certificate from the panchayat on Tuesday. It would take at least a week to get the ownership certificate registered," he said.
Earlier, the authorities had declared his family eligible to get Rs 2.5 lakh for maintenance. But, according to him, he received no relief from the 'Rebuild Kerala' scheme. He and his family had fled his house on the night of August 15 after the floodwater rose up to the top of the front door. When the air operation started from Chengannur, the IAF choppers took rounds over the isolated Pandanad frequently, airdropping relief materials. One chopper took a low-altitude flight over the top of his four-decade-old house and shook it.
Amal Vijay, programme coordinator of the foundation, told DC that Subrahmanyan was the first-pick in Pandanad panchayat. Two other houses will be built in the panchayat. The foundation stone-laying ceremony will be held after February 18, he said.