A year after Phailin, cyclone resilient houses elude people in Odisha's Ganjam

  • Priya Ranjan Sahu, Hindustan Times, Chhatrapur (Ganjam)
  • Updated: Oct 14, 2014 20:49 IST

Cyclone Phailin ravaged Bodu Rajeyu’s house in Nulia Nuagaon village on Odisha’s Ganjam coast in October last year.

The 47-year-old fisherman could cover less than a half of the roof that was blown away by the cyclone with the Rs 6,000 compensation from the district administration. Two months after Phailin, a government official told him that he would get a concrete house to be built in a rehabilitated colony.

“It was the last I had met him or any other government employee,” Rajeyu told HT.

Rajeyu’s is one of about 17,000 families identified as beneficiaries to receive cyclone resilient houses worth Rs 3 lakh each, to be built with a World Bank loan.

Not a single beneficiary has been handed over a house so far.

Ganjam collector Prem Chand Choudhury said the administration had already given work order for 12,000 houses. “It is a beneficiary oriented project and work is in progress. Construction of about 150 houses is complete and will be handed over to beneficiaries soon,” Choudhury said.

Also, there were many constraints for the project like land acquisition, rain and code for conduct for elections. “We had identified two sites in Nulia Nuagaon earlier, but one was rejected by the Coastal Regulatory Zone and the other had been leased out to Indian Rare Earth,” a district official said.

Construction of about 3,000 houses in seven other villages has been stuck because of CRZ restrictions and encroachments.

The progress was tardy even in land cleared of any hassles. In Ramayapatna village, there was a cluster of half constructed houses, though the district administration officials claimed it to be complete.

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