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5.87 lakh more homeless families to get houses

Some 5.87 lakh more homeless families are getting permanent shelters from Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina as her government has moved to widen scope of the existing project designed for this.

The Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) has sent a fourth revision proposal for its ongoing Ashrayan-2 project to the Planning Commission for this, seeking more time and cost hike to accommodate more poor families in it, official sources said.

Recently, the government has identified more 5,87,417 landless, homeless destitute and helpless families and decided to construct 14,620 new barracks under Ashrayan-2 scheme across the country.

It has to spend Tk 75.40 billion more on the scheme while a time extension up to June 2024 will also be required in line with the fourth revision proposal tabled at the Planning Commission.

“The humanitarian government led by Sheikh Hasina has taken a large initiative to provide shelters for homeless people. As part of the initiative, more impoverished families will be brought under the scheme,” Planning Minister MA Mannan said.

A cyclone left many families homeless in Cox’s Bazar and adjacent districts in 1997. After visiting the areas, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina became very sympathetic to them and gave instant directives on rehabilitating them.

After that the Ashrayan project was picked up and so far nearly 3 lakh homeless families have been rehabilitated under the scheme with spending Tk 38.41 billion.

Some 2.76 lakh families have been rendered income generating training, while 1.39 lakh families have received loan support from the government under the flagship scheme of the government.

Besides this, the government also took initiative for greenification of every project site along with arranging electricity, drinking water and sanitation for the homeless families.

In its fourth revision proposal, the PMO has proposed raising the land purchase cost to Tk 1.30 billion from existing Tk 400 million.

For doing so, it has proposed trimming its 100 multi-storey buildings construction plant to 80 and shift Tk 897 million to land buying components, planning commission sources said.

Under the revised scheme, 5,149 pucca barracks will be erected across the country, while 5,078 semi-pucca barracks will be built in coastal areas and another 4,393 semi-pucca barracks in other parts of the country.

Moreover, 1,110 community centres, 580 specially-designed houses, internal roads, box culverts, drains, slope protection will be built in each project-village apart from installing tube wells.

Under the second phase of Ashrayan project, the government has already rehabilitated over 1.92 lakh families by spending Tk 29.33 billion on it.

Of the homeless families, 48,325 have been rehabilitated in barracks while houses have been constructed on own lands of 1.44 lakh more families.