“We, 20 people including sisters, their husbands and children, have been living in this hut at a 6 cent land for long. The rooms in this hut have been separated using flex sheets. I feared that the end of our lives would be in this hut. However, the Pinarayi Vijayan government has given us secured houses. That too four houses. We all are happy now and we will be meeting our chief minister on Saturday to express our gratitude,” said Sobha, who hails from Kannettumukku in Thiruvananthapuram district of Kerala, as she wiped tears off her cheek.
As the 6 cents of land had been partitioned, Sobha’s sisters—Sakunthala, Radha Devi and Vathsala Kumari—were also granted houses under the Life Mission. Soon after sanctioning of the houses, each of them had received Rs 40,000 as the first instalment from the government. They all started building houses in November 2018. Soon after the basement was constructed, they received the second instalment: Rs 1.60 lakh each.
Later on, third and fourth instalments—of Rs 1.6 lakh and Rs 40,000 respectively—had been deposited to their bank accounts. The Life Mission of the government helped these sisters, like many others, to build their dream of a secure home. Now, all of them have houses with two bed rooms, one hall, kitchen and toilets.
Many families including Sobha’s had been selected as the beneficiaries under the Life Mission of Kerala government, which aims to provide secured houses for all who don’t own land and house.
So far, 2,14,000 houses have been built under the Life Mission, which is being implemented in three phases across the state. The first phase of the mission focused on completing houses that had been unfinished under various schemes between 2000-01 and 2015-16. In this phase, 52,050 houses had been completed out of total 54,173. For the first phase alone, state government had spent Rs 670 crore.
Read More: Rebuild Kerala Initiative: 6,153 Houses Reconstructed So Far
Second phase of the mission focused on building houses for the families who own land. In this phase, 92,213 families had applied for government’s assistance. Of this, 74,674 houses had been built and the government had spent Rs 5,851 crore on this.
Third phase of the mission focuses on building houses for landless families. For this, the government is expected to find land and will build apartment. For this phase, 1,06,925 beneficiaries have been identified till now. As a pilot project, an apartment complex which can accommodate 217 families had been built in Adimali of Idukki district. One hundred and sixty-three families have already got their houses in this particular apartment complex.
For the primary work of phase three of Life Mission, Rs 30 crore have been spent as of now and the government has sanctioned another Rs 448 crore for these apartment projects. The government had also acquired 524.05 acres of land in 311 various places.
Along with this, the state government had also implemented Life PMAY (Pradhan Mantri Awaz Yojana) scheme as well. But, while the Centre is allotting only Rs 72,000 per house for the houses in rural areas, the state government is giving Rs 3,28,000 per house. In the case of PMAY urban scheme, Centre’s share stands at Rs 1,50,000, whereas the state bears cost of Rs 2,50,000 per house.
Care Home project by the state’s Cooperative Department has joined hands with the mission and completed 2,086 houses. Besides these, with Scheduled Castes Development Department, 18,811 houses have been completed. With the help of Scheduled Tribes Development Department, 738 houses and with Fisheries Department, 3,725 houses have been completed. In total, the number of houses that have been built under the Life Mission exceeds 2,14,000.
Various organisations and builders have also stood with the government’s ambitious project that ensures secured houses for all. The cooperative societies have done the construction work and with the cooperation of leading suppliers of construction materials, the government ensured quality products—at 40%-60% of the original prices for building the houses. Also, house construction works were made part of the MGNREGA and it helped the beneficiaries avail 90 days of work from the MGNREGA scheme.
“The government congratulates all individuals, organisations and institutions which donated land for the mission and the government aims to provide house for all,” chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan said in a press statement on Friday.
Read More: Rebuilding Kerala: People-Centric Adaptation Holds The Key