Home >Politics >Policy >Kerala builds refurbished houses for heroic fishermen in record time

Bengaluru: As Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated a 2,900 crore statue of Sardar Patel on Wednesday, another inauguration has come into the spotlight, in Kerala.

Finished in a record time of 18 months, Kerala chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan inaugurated a housing complex for about 192 fishermen families in Thiruvananthapuram district’s Valiyathura, some of whom had played a key role in saving lakhs of lives as Kerala faced its worst floods in August.

Kerala’s 10.68 lakh strong fishermen community was celebrated across India for their heroic devotion to saving lives during the floods, but were living themselves in precarious seaside homes. Repeated sea attacks, extreme weather patterns and sea erosion had turned about 6,000 houses critically vulnerable, as per the government.

The refurbished houses is a story of the state’s makeover, a staggering task that was made even harder by the floods, which left a trail of 400 deaths and 30,000 crore destruction. The housing project comes under Vijayan government’s ‘LIFE Project’, an ambitious affordable housing scheme aimed to keep a roof over every Keralite’s head.

“The Prathiksha (“Hope") apartment complex will serve to rehabilitate those fisherfolk who were rendered homeless by the 2016 sea attack in Valiyathura," Vijayan tweeted on Tuesday.

Costing 10 lakh per house, the state started work on the housing complex in 2017 and work was finished despite a devastating attack of cyclone Ockhi in the end 2017, and later by the continuous rains this year, said Alias Kuravankudy Mathew, Kerala’s fisheries department spokesperson.

The complex is a first of such housing projects for the impoverished section of the society, more will be added in the coming months, he said. The department has earmarked 12300 crore in total for translocating fishermen families alone from regions vulnerable to sea attacks.

“At 6.5 lakh tons, Kerala’s fish landings tops in the country and contributes significantly to our foreign reserves. But the living conditions of the fishermen community remains appalling. Their lives are suffered by lack of basic conditions and natural calamities. Apart from these are the technicalities of Coastal Zone Regulation Act. Fishermen community are as backward as tribals. The benefits of Kerala’s societal progress has not reached them yet," Vijayan had said in an earlier Facebook post.

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