2,000 SL families may move into new houses
State government working to hand over the houses on Anna’s birth anniversary on September 15
CHENNAI: Come September 15, families of 2,000 odd Sri Lankan Tamils in rehabilitation camps in the state are likely to move into the newly built houses.
They are among the 3,510 beneficiaries of the first phase of the free housing scheme of the state government, which was designed to ensure dignified and safe living conditions for the Sri Lankan Tamils.
Construction of the houses completed, while works on providing electricity and other facilities such as drainage, road and drinking water facilities are under progress. “Construction of the 2,000 houses is completed and some civil works are going on. They will be completed soon as we are planning to hand over the new houses to the beneficiaries on the birth anniversary of Anna (CN Annadurai),” Minister for Minority Welfare and Non-resident Tamils Welfare Gingee KS Masthan told DT Next.
The government had already handed over 321 houses to Lankan Tamils in Dindigul district on September 15 last year. It was part of the DMK government’s welfare schemes to the tune of Rs 317 crore announced by Chief Minister MK Stalin. “We will complete the first phase of the project and hand over all houses before the end of this fiscal,” the Minister said and added that respective district collectors have already identified suitable sites for the second phase of the project and it would commence soon. Sri Lankan Tamils in Melmanavoor rehabilitation camp in Vellore district said that the construction of 220 houses has been completed a month ago. These houses have come up after razing down the tiled roof houses constructed in M Karunanidhi’s regime in 2009.
“At present electrical works are going on in the newly built houses. We are told that the houses will be handed over to us on Anna’s 115th birth anniversary,” said K Senthilnathan, the camp head. He was one of the beneficiaries, who reached the shores of India, seeking refuge from the war-torn island nation in the early 1990s.
Similarly, the construction of houses was completed in Tharamangalam in Salem district. “Nearly 60 per cent of the construction work was completed in our camp. We are hoping to get the houses by January next year,” said S Anton Louis of Keel Puthupet rehabilitation camp in Villupuram district where 440 houses are being constructed.