The Kochi Corporation’s attempts to make the city slum-free have received a shot in the arm with the Union government sanctioning Rs 67.32 crore for the cause. As per the proposal made by the Kochi Corporation under the Rajiv Awas Yojana (RAY) scheme, the impoverished houses in the slum areas of Calvathy, Thuruthy and Koncheri are expected to get a makeover.
The decision to sanction the amount was made at a meeting of the Central Sanctioning and Monitoring Committee held in New Delhi the other day. The meeting was attended by Tony Chammany, Kudumbashree programme officer Jacob Chandy and Town Planning Officer of the Corporation K B Gopalkrishana Pillai.
Three corporations in Kerala were included in the slum-free city plan funded under the Rajiv Awas Yojana (RAY) scheme. Among the three Corporations selected for implementing the RAY projects in the state, the project from Kochi will be the pilot project and a model for the others.
The multi-crore project aims at improving the condition of the slum dwellers who suffer under dilapidated rooftops and walls. The project has been gathering dust at the Corporation for some time now. The civic body had failed to submit the detailed project report for colony renovation under the Rajiv Gandhi Awas Yojana, which in turn had delayed the implementation of the project. While the other two Corporations, Kollam and Thiruvananthapuram, had submitted the DPR, only Kochi was lagging behind. Consequently, the ‘pilot’ tag was dropped from the Corporation. Around 755 families residing in the three slums will benefit from the centre’s fund. The corporation claims to construct 180 row houses and 83 independent houses with the fund. A two-floor buildings for six families, flats for 398 families, and the renovation of 88 families are also in offing.
Basic facilities such as roads, bridges, and drinking water will also be supplied to the slums using the fund. The Corporation also plans to implement rainwater harvesting projects, install streetlights, sewage facilities and build care homes and library using the fund within three years.