U'khand: Homeless families to get prefabricated houses, says Bahuguna

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Dehradun, Oct 3: Uttarakhand government will build prefabricated houses to rehabilitate 2,500 families rendered homeless by the mid-June calamity in the state.

This will be in addition to a compensation of Rs 2 lakh already given to each person who lost his house in the tragedy, Chief Minister Vijay Bahuguna told reporters here today while announcing the state government's rehabilitation policy framed in the wake of the calamity.

3,100 families were rendered homeless by the catastrophic floods, out of which 600 will be rehabilitated by corporate houses and NGOs and the rest by the state government, he said.

About a dozen villages have been identified in the worst- hit Rudraprayag, Chamoli, Uttarkashi, Bageshwar and Pithoragarh districts where the prefabricated houses will come up, he said.

Each prefabricated house to be constructed at a cost of Rs 6 lakh and will have two rooms, a toilet and guaranteed durability of 30 years, Bahuguna said.

"Our effort is to finish the construction of these houses before the onset of peak winter months," he said.

He said if a targeted beneficiary does not want to live in these houses, he will be given Rs 4 lakh in addition to the Rs 2 lakh already given to him as compensation, apart from a 1000 sq ft plot free of cost to help him resettle.

However, the Chief Minister clarified that the beneficiaries will be allowed to resettle and relocated only in areas adjacent to their original homes and not in the plain areas.

In case of a beneficiary choosing not to move into the prefabricated houses built for them, they will have to take the clearance of the District Magistrate concerned to settle in a location of their choice.

Noting that the state government has not yet been able to provide compensation to Kedarnath residents who lost their property in the tragedy, Bahuguna said he will hold a meeting with them on October 11, listen to them and then ascertain the quantum of compensation to be given to them.

3,100 families were rendered homeless by the catastrophic floods.

Yatra to the char dhams will be resumed with the commencement of the Navratras on October 5 when pilgrims will be allowed to visit Badrinath and Kedarnath.

However, for the first week, not more than 200 persons a day will be allowed to visit these Himalayan shrines considering the condition of the newly repaired roads.

The number may be increased later, he said. Accusing main opposition BJP of doing politics over the June calamity, Bahuguna said it should play the role of a responsible opposition and desist from instigating disaster- hit people against the government.

"We welcome suggestions from them (BJP leaders) on how to improve the pace of rehabilitation and rebuilding efforts but their going from one place to another, holding public meetings and instigating people against the government is thoroughly unacceptable," the Chief Minister said.

Instead of finding fault with the government, they should tell people what they did while in power for those affected by natural calamities which are an annual feature in the state, he said.

Bahuguna claimed that no government in Uttarakhand had tried to help the flood hit people of the state as generously as the government headed by him.

"We have relaxed several norms to widen the ambit of beneficiaries so that no one affected by the calamity is left out. It is something never done by any government in the state," he said.

PTI

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