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Nine tsunami-affected families get new houses in Pondicherry

Rajesh Nair

The units have been built by an Uttaranchal-based NGO The units have been built by an Uttaranchal-based NGO



NEW HOUSES: Pondicherry Lt. Governor M. M. Lakhera hands over the document of a house to a tsunami-hit family in Panithittu village near Pondicherry on Tuesday. Uttaranchal Governor Sudershan Agarwal and Tamil Nadu Governor Surjit Singh Barnala are also seen. — Photo:T. Singaravelou

PONDICHERRY: The first permanent houses for the tsunami-affected people in the Union Territory have come up at Panithittu village near here.

On Tuesday, nine families were handed over the keys and documents to the houses built by the Uttaranchal based NGO Project Hope-India Heritage Research Foundation.

The NGO has constructed 100 houses and 20 of them are ready for occupation.

The work on the other houses was delayed due to the recent rain and the entire unit would be ready for occupation by next month, said B.V. Selvaraj, Relief Commissioner at a function held in the village to mark the handing over of houses.

The houses are in blocks, with each block having two houses. Every house has a built up area of 313 sq. ft. with attached kitchens and separate toilets. The units had come up at a cost of Rs 1.75 crores.

The Project Implementation Agency, constituted by the administration to take up infrastructure work in the new settlements and also to construct permanent houses using the World Bank assistance, will start laying of internal roads at a cost of Rs 36 lakhs and drinking water system at a cost of Rs 4 lakhs at Panithittu very soon.

"We would also construct a community hall, a computer centre, a vocational training centre and a community health centre in the village as second phase of the project," Swami Chidanand Saraswati, founder-chairman of India Heritage Research Foundation.

Uttaranchal Governor Sudershan Agarwal said his government would contribute Rs 30 lakhs towards the second phase of the project. The Lt. Governor of Pondicherry, M.M. Lakhera, said all the new hamlets for the tsunami-affected fishermen would have modern facilities.

The government is also in the process of starting alternative livelihood programme for the fishing community.

Around 2,000 new houses for the affected people are under various stages of completion in villages in the Pondicherry and Karaikal region.

In the next two days more than 200 houses built by SOS village in Pudupettai and Pudukuppam hamlets near here would be handed over to the beneficiaries.

Tamil Nadu Governor Surjit Singh Barnala planted saplings in the new units.

Actor Vivek Oberoi, who is also part of the Project Hope, was present at the function.

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