Naveen lays foundation stone for houses in Berhampur slums

Berhampur: Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik today laid the foundation stone for construction of pucca houses in slum pockets here with an investment of Rs 143 crore of which 70 per cent will be borne by the Centre.

About 2,685 houses would be constructed under the Rajiv Awas Yojana for which the Centre would provide 70 per cent, while 20 per cent would be borne by the state government and the rest by the beneficiaries, official sources said.

The project was expected to be completed in the next one- and-a-half years, they said.

“The project is aimed at making Berhampur a slum-free town,” said the state’s Housing and Urban Development Minister Puspendra Singhdeo.

He said the Chief Minister had consented to provide Rs 12 crore for beautification of Ramalingam pond, situated in the heart of the town and which was one of the long-standing demands of the people.

During his day-long visit, Patnaik also inaugurated a 20-bedded separate eye ward in the city hospital here, a new revenue inspection bungalow (IB), piped water supply near revenue IB and laid foundation stone for piped water supply project at the tourist resort Gopalpur-on-Sea.

The Chief Minister also inaugurated 47 houses constructed under World Bank-funded Odisha Disaster Recovery Project (ODRP) at Narayanpur near Gopalpur.

The government has decided to construct pucca houses with infrastructure facilities in all villages located within five kms from the sea coast under the World Bank scheme after several houses were damaged due to Cyclone Phailin which hit the state on October 12, 2013.

In Ganjam district, the administration had identified as many as 16,981 pucca houses in 107 villages under five coastal blocks. Though the total outlay for the project was yet to be finalised, each house was expected to cost around Rs three lakh, said an officer.