THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Less than 15 minutes is what it takes to travel from Kothalam to Kalladimukham. Yet, a few hapless souls are destined to stay put at the starting point for months to reach the destination, where a better shelter and living await them. their 'home' at Kalladimukham continues to be vacant. The newly-constructed brick-skinned beggar rehabilitation centre of the City Corporation is destined to maintain the 'status quo', as the most basic need - potable water connectivity - remains a dream.
The centre, completed in August this year after many initial hiccups, was expected to open its doors for the inmates in that month itself, but things failed to pan out well as expected. During the last council's period in July, a sum of Rs 53 lakh went to Kerala Water Authority towards advance payment, only to float tender only on Wednesday.
“There was absence of electricity connection also at first, that got resolved later. The inordinate delay with water connectivity has put things in trouble and we are planning to meet Water Resources Minister to speed up the matter,” said R Geetha Gopal, welfare standing committee chairperson. The present beggar rehabilitation centre, 'Sakshatkaram' at Kothalam with minimal facilities, is jointly run by City Corporation, Karunya Guidance Centre and Orthodox Sabha. The newly-constructed one at Kalladimukham is meant for beggar rehabilitation and to shelter abandoned elders rescued from the streets. At a time, it can accommodate up to 106 persons with separate facilities for men and women.
A senior official with Kerala Water Authority, when contacted, set another two months for their job to be over. “The delay occurred when the scheduled rate for the works had to be revised once in between. Only after this did we float the tender. Works of JBIC in the area too need to be completed. If that also gets over within the time frame, there won't be any issue in arranging water connectivity to the rehabilitation centre,” he said.
The Rs 25-crore Kalladimukham housing is a flagship project of the City Corporation under the Basic Services to the Urban Poor (BSUP). The full-fledged community living system on a five-acre property houses 323 flats, old age home, destitute home, anganwadi, community hall, works centre, library, biogas plant, pathway and roads. The The delay occurred when the scheduled rate for the works had to be revised once in between. Only after this did we float the tender — KWA officialhanding over of keys of 318 homes was done in September.