CHENNAI: Blaming the previous AIADMK Government in Tamil Nadu for “the tardy” progress in tsunami relief and rehabilitation work, Union Finance Minister P Chidambaram today asked the DMK Government to concentrate more on construction of houses for those who had been devastated by the tragedy.
Launching the Tsunami Jan Bima Yojana, a comprehensive insurance cover for health and accident, of the United India Insurance Company here, he said the Centre had sanctioned more than Rs 5,000 crore for the three phases of tsunami relief - immediate, long-term and construction of houses.
He had been receiving petitions from the victims that their names had not been included for provision of permanent houses. He had asked district collectors to take immediate action and provide houses for those who had been excluded.
He was pained to notice that only 24,000 houses had been constructed so far, of which only 3,500 by the government, the rest by voluntary agencies. THe DMK government should concentrate more on construction of houses for victims.
On the new policy, he said over 4.57 lakh families in the southern states of the country would be covered by it. The annual premium of Rs 800 per family comprising an individual, spouse and three dependent children would be borne by the Centre.
Normally, insurance companies would be happy to handle lesser number of claims, but in this scheme they should see to it that the maximum number of claims were settled as it was basically for families living below poverty line and affected by tsunami which hit the coastal areas of Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Andhra Pradesh and Puducherry on December 26, 2004.