CHENNAI: Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa on Monday urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to accord special sanction to provide permanent houses to 2 lakh families residing along waterways in Chennai and those living in huts in rural Tamil Nadu, as the floods had destroyed their dwelling places.
A total of 50,000 houses would be built for the urban poor who are to be resettled from watercourses and water bodies at a cost of `5,000 crore, while 50,000 more houses in Chennai and adjoining urban areas which suffered extensive damages needed to be reconstructed in situ at a cost of `750 crore. Besides, one lakh more houses were needed for those living in hutments in rural areas in Cuddalore, Tiruvallur, Kancheepuram and Tuticorin districts under Indira Awaas Yojana.
The Chief Minister, in her letter to the Prime Minister, said all those who had lost huts would be provided permanent houses. In Chennai, about 50,000 families had already been surveyed and identified living along Adyar and Cooum rivers banks and Buckingham canal.
“All these people would require to be provided alternative housing and free flow of these important waterways ensured,” she pointed out.
The Chief Minister said of these 50,000 families, the TN government would be able to accommodate 25,000 in tenements already constructed and under construction by the Slum Clearance Board. “I expect the resettlement of these people to commence within two weeks and to be completed in phases within a year. Until they move to alternative housing, the State government will provide temporary housing at its own cost,” she added.
For the 25,000 families residing in the vicinity of other water courses and water bodies in Chennai city and its suburbs, the State government had prepared a project to build 50,000 multi-storeyed tenements. She said the cost per a unit of 380 sq.ft including providing other common amenities, would be `10 lakh and the total cost of this massive special housing project would be `5,000 crore.
Urging the Prime Minister to sanction a special scheme for this project, she promised that the cost of land, which in Chennai and its adjacent urban areas would be the contribution of the State government.
Observing that beneficiaries of the scheme, the flood-affected, would not be able to make the beneficiary contribution required under the Housing for All programme, Jayalalithaa said the existing scheme covered only a small portion of the unit cost.
“I request you to make a special allocation of `750 crore for 50,000 houses at the rate of `1.5 lakh per house as Central grant. The State government will add a further `1 lakh per house to provide a grant of `2.5 lakh per house for in situ reconstruction of houses in slum areas affected by the floods”, she said.
“The scheme can be funded under the Indira Awaas Yojana with an enhanced unit cost of at least `1.5 lakh per house as a special allocation,” she said and requested him to instruct the Union Ministry of Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation and the Ministry of Rural Development to expeditiously accord the additional special sanctions sought by her so that the construction could commence without any delay.