The CPI(M)-led Kerala government, which completed 100 days in office, has envisaged a complete rehabilitation package for the homeless and landless in the next five years through a comprehensive housing scheme, expected to directly benefit over 4.70 lakh families.
The recently announced project titled “Project LIFE” (Livelihood, Inclusion, Financial Empowerment) envisages not just giving a roof for those who do not have houses, but also a complete rehabilitation package for the homeless and landless in the state.
The LDF government is planning to mobilise contributions from non-resident Keralites, social responsibility funds of corporate groups, non-government organisations besides government funds for the Project LIFE scheme, scheduled to be launched on 1 November, the state formation day.
According to official figures, 4.70 lakh families remain homeless in the state. Of them, only 2.91 lakh families have adequate land for constructing houses. The remaining 1.79 lakh families are not only homeless but also landless.
Through the new housing scheme, the state government is trying to ensure home for homeless and home as well as land for landless within the next five years, official sources said. Under the programme, a string of model residential complexes, where a large number of people can be accommodated together will be constructed in select locations.
The LIFE complexes would have all basic amenities ranging from power supply, drinking water, sanitation facilities, cooking gas, bio-metric-controlled entrances, security systems, rain water harvesting and solar panel roofs besides creche, palliative care units and skill training centres, they said.
The skill training centres at the complexes would help the adult occupants fetch means of livelihood and attain financial empowerment.
With the support of Social Justice and Local Self Government and Labour Departments, they would get training in a wide range of skills including in palliative care, farming, plumbing, electrical, mechanical and mason works and household duties, sources said.
The Left government zeroed in on the housing complexes instead of building individual houses keeping in mind the intense shortage of land in the densely populated state.
As many as 6,000 acres would be needed if independent houses were to be built. But only 1,140 acres would be sufficient for the construction of residential complexes to accommodate these number of people, sources said.
In the initial phase, the state would be divided into three zones – south Kerala, central Kerala and north Kerala – and six residential complexes would be constructed in two selected taluks in each of these areas.
The pilot project is targeted to rehabilitate 600 families in a year, they said, adding that a high level mission under the joint initiative of Local Self Government and Social Justice Departments would be its implementing agency.
With the competition of the project, a large number of marginalised groups who now live away from development, can be made part of the mainstream society, sources added.
(With PTI inputs)