By Dr Aynal Haque
RAJSHAHI, Jan 19, 2021 (BSS) – A total of 7,119 newly constructed houses are now almost ready for handing over to homeless families as a gift from Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in the Mujib Year in Rajshahi division.
Dr Abdul Mannan, Additional Commissioner of Rajshahi division, here told BSS that construction works of 6,000 of the houses were already completed and the rest are expected to be completed before handing over the ownership by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on January 23 formally.
The homeless and landless families will be given disaster resilient houses to mark the Mujib Borsho, the birth centenary of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, in all eight districts under the division.
The government at the initiative of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina will provide them with the house to alleviate their poverty through giving shelters and human resource development activities.
“We have given a list of 37,643 families who have neither house nor land and got allocation for 7,119 of them,” Dr Mannan said, adding that the rest people are expected to get housing facilities.
On behalf of Ashrayan Project-2 of the Prime Minister’s Office, the Department of Disaster Management (DDM) has built the houses, he added.
Main thrust of the initiative is to improve the standard of living ensuring basic education, health care and skill development on income generating activities of the landless, homeless, distress and rootless people.
Dr Abdul Mannan said the construction of the houses is a laudable step of the government. The homeless and landless families will get their shelters to live permanently in these houses as the quality of the houses is top priority, he said.
As per commitment of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, all the distressed families will be brought under the disaster resilient houses in the division, in phases.
Aminul Haque, District Relief and Rehabilitation Officer, said each of the semi-pucca houses with two bedrooms, one kitchen, one toilet, common space and veranda were built at a cost of Taka 1.71 lakh while floors and walls of the houses will be brick-built as the roof were be made by corrugated sheet.
He added that the houses were made colorfully and eye-catching. The disaster resistant houses reveal the images of laudable and lasting development activities of the government.
Earlier, another 3,022 distressed families were given brick-built houses for the first time in the division.
The distressed people, who have at least one to ten decimal of land but no house, were given the brick-built houses as gifts of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina till June last.
The DDM has constructed the rural level houses under its Disaster Resilient House Building Project (DRHBP) that has been implemented as a rural infrastructure reconstruction programme.
Aminul Haque said each of the houses consisting two bedrooms, one kitchen, one toilet and one corridor was built at a cost of around Taka 2.58 lakh by close supervision of the respective local house building committee.
Hurzan Bibi, 54, a beneficiary of Mondalpara village under Tanore Upazila, said she was homeless and used to lead an inhuman life. She added that she has forgotten all her pain after getting a house by the government.
“After my husband died around 10 years back, I used to beg. I had to pass the night on footpath as there was no house to live in,” said Momena Khatun, 55, a widow of Kachua village under the same upazila, in a choked voice.
At present, a house has ensured her a happy life. “I had never thought, even in my dreams, that I would be able to live in such a good house,” said Kazoly Mormu, 30, wife of Buddhinath Hasda of Haldibona village under Paba Upazila.
Kazoly said they were suffering from utter poverty since their marriage. Her husband used to work as a day-labourer and it was very hard for her to maintain her family let alone to make a house.
Now, after getting a house from the government, she is able to live peacefully with her husband and daughter Rita Hasda, said Kazoly.
Rita, 13, a student of class nine in the nearby Kasba High School, said the house has boosted up her level of confidence to continue her study. She expressed her deep gratitude to Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina for the laudable initiative.