THIRUVANANTHAPURAM, January 25, 2013
The city Corporation is getting ready to launch by mid-February the third phase of a comprehensive project to develop Karimadom Colony under the centrally funded Basic Services to the Urban Poor (BSUP) scheme.
Corporation welfare standing committee chairperson Palayam Rajan told The Hindu that a Cluster Development Committee (CDC) meeting had been scheduled for Monday during which issues regarding the beneficiary list would be cleared.
The detailed project report (DPR) with an outlay of Rs.16 crore was approved in 2007. However, the construction of a total of 28 buildings to accommodate the residents of this area lagged owing to discrepancies in the beneficiary list following the allotment of houses in 2011 when the second phase of construction was completed.
Disputes arose with some alleging that a few families were allotted more than one flat, and that some were leasing them out. Court cases continue to plague those who have moved in.
560 families on list
The Centre of Science and Technology for Rural Development (COSTFORD) is the construction agency, and it has designed each building of 20 apartments. The beneficiary list prepared by the Corporation contains 560 families, who will be accommodated in the 28 blocks. Nine blocks are ready, and 140 families have moved in.
Senior Corporation officials associated with the project said funds allotted by the Union government for the project would lapse by March 2014. Aside from issues that plagued the revision of rates pertaining to construction, 21 buildings remained to be built in one year.
The Corporation is also under strain as far as the project funds are concerned. As per the DPR approved in 2007, Rs.1.7 lakh was allotted for a flat. The construction cost came to Rs.3.28 lakh for a flat during the first phase. In the second phase, the cost rose to Rs.4.5 lakh to Rs.5 lakh for a flat. “The Union government will offer 80 per cent of the schedule of rates in 2007. It is the Corporation that has to bear the brunt of inflation and price hike. The Centre can say that had the construction been quicker, the issue of revision of rates would not have come up. But this is not realistic. Moving people has to be done in a humane manner, and Kerala does not have the luxury of land and space that most other States do,” a Corporation official said.
A biometric system would be incorporated to ensure that no more discrepancies crept into the beneficiary list.