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Pandemic delays third phase of PMAY-LIFE project

More than 9,000 applicants in the landless category in Kozhikode

The third phase of PMAY- LIFE housing project in the Kozhikode Corporation, which started around 10 months ago, has received an overwhelming response from the public, despite COVID-19 restrictions.

The online applications were invited from those who did not own land to build houses. In the previous two phases, the corporation had accepted applications only from those who had the required land.

However, the opposition in the corporation council had recently alleged that the verification of applications was going at snail’s pace. Opposition leader K.C. Shobhita said that though around 9,000 people had applied, data entry was yet to be completed. She demanded that the corporation come clear on action taken for the realisation of the project and accused it of neglecting landless people.

Meanwhile, the civic body claimed that the verification process remained incomplete owing to non-availability of manpower during the pandemic times. Public Works Standing Committee chairman P.C. Rajan said of the 9,275 people who had applied, only 4,175 had submitted the required documents proving their eligibility. The applications of those who applied later have not been verified.

The corporation is also finding it difficult to identify suitable land for the project. “Unlike in the previous phases, we need to provide them completed houses, and not just funds to build them. At present, we are looking for plots where we could build apartment complexes,” Mr. Rajan said.

The corporation owns around two acres at Naduvattom near Beypore. However, soil testing has been delayed. Another plot has been identified at Chelavoor, for which negotiation is in progress. There are also plans to acquire land from the Housing Board.

“We have no fund issues. We are also allowed to avail loans, if need be,” Mr. Rajan said, adding that around 3,000 beneficiaries had been granted the first instalment of funds from the first and second phases of the project.

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