Mah CM to hand over houses to tsunami-hit in Pondicherry

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Mumbai, Jan 10 (UNI) Maharashtra Chief Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh will hand over the first set of 500 houses to the 2004 tsunami-hit survivors of three villages in Pondicherry on Saturday.

A statement issued from the Chief Minister's office said the state government had fulfilled its promise of rehabilitating the survivors of the tsunami. The rehabilitation programme at the cost of Rs 60 crore is spread across 12 districts where 1,668 houses are being constructed. Among this, the complex of 300 houses in Veerampattinam village has been named Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Nagar, 120 houses are complete in Karikalmedu village and the complex will be called Mahatma Phule Nagar while there are 80 houses in Kilijalmedu village which will be named Dr B R Ambedkar Nagar.

In 2004, Maharashtra government had selected 12 districts which bore the brunt of the tidal waves rendering lakhs of poor people homeless. The newly constructed houses will be handed over to the Chief Minister of Pondicherry.

Construction of houses in the remaining six villages of eight districts will be completed by March 2008, while in other two villages, the state government is in the process of land acquisition with help of its pondicherry counterpart.

All the newly constructed houses have facility of rain water harvesting, solid waste management, gardens, open space and drainage system. The houses have been constructed by M/s Nadmuni Reddy and sons with help of M/s Mahindra consulting engineers, the statement added.

Maharashtra has always been in the forefront of helping other states in times of natural disasters. In 1999, the state government spent Rs 40 crore to construct houses for the homeless after the Orissa cyclone. It had also spent Rs 80 crore to rehabilitate victims of two districts in 2002 Gujarat earthquake.

UNI MR DB SHB BD1809

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