Thursday, Mar 24, 2005
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By Our Staff Reporter
PONDICHERRY, MARCH 23. The Lieutenant Governor of Pondicherry, M.M. Lakhera, has said that the Government has decided to construct pucca houses with a built-up area of 300sq. ft. to 325 sq. ft. for the tsunami-hit families in Pondicherry and Karaikal regions.
Addressing the Pondicherry Assembly today Mr. Lakhera said that the houses would be constructed some distance from the sea as far as possible so that a permanent solution could be found to frequent natural disasters such as cyclone and tsunami.
The cost per house would be around Rs. 1.5 lakhs to Rs 1.75 lakhs. Mr. Lakhera (who had seen for himself the impact of the tsunami in the coastal pockets in Pondicherry and Karaikal) said the Government had already identified suitable land in Karaikal to construct new houses and relocate the affected families in a time-bound manner.
The Government of Maharashtra and a few non-governmental organisations had also come forward to assist the Government in this task. Efforts were being made to locate and acquire suitable land in Pondicherry also.
He said around 30,000 people were rendered homeless by the tsunami. The the death toll was 492 in Karaikal and 107 in Pondicherry. Standing crop on 792 hectares had been damaged and 10,061 houses destroyed apart from government buildings such as schools and anganwadi centres. Damages to nearly 6,703 fishing crafts handicapped fishermen in leading normal life, he said.
Mr. Lakhera expressed deep sorrow and anguish over the loss of life and property in Pondicherry and Karaikal.
The Governor placed on record his appreciation of the timely assistance and cooperation extended by the defence and para-military forces by setting up medical camps and also rendering help in the search of bodies and construction of a Bailey bridge across Arasalar at Karaikal, facilitating immediate restoration of vehicular traffic between Karaikal and southern districts of Tamil Nadu.
He also hailed the role of non-governmental organisations, associations and also Government employees in rendering immediate relief, and expressed gratitude to thousands of people and organisations for their liberal contributions to the Chief Minster's Relief fund.
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