Sikkim to be 1st state to provide pucca houses to all citizens



New Delhi: Sikkim will soon be the first state in the country to provide 'pucca' houses to all its residents as it has launched a mega social housing mission of quality housing to families living in hutments.

Under the Rs 211.20 crore ambitious project, 6,000 poor household dwellers living in 'kutcha' houses will be given a single storey earthquake-resistant new 'pucca' house free of cost by the end of 2013.

The five-year project will solve the issue of homelessness among the poor in Sikkim permanently, project director of Chief Minister's Rural Housing Mission CC Wangdi said in a release.

Each spacious house will have a RCC structure with two bedrooms, a kitchen-cum-dining room, a toilet and a veranda in front portion measuring a plinth area of 605 sq ft each.

The each owner-driven conversion of hutments to 'pucca' house would cost of Rs 3.50 lakh which will be constructed by the beneficiary through financial assistance to be received from the government in four instalments.

There will be no middlemen or contractors and construction of each house is closely monitored by Block Rural House Construction Committees comprising both elected as well as official representatives, the release said.

All these 6,000 'katcha' house dwellers were identified through a rigorous baseline survey conducted by gram sabhas using transparent criteria followed by multiple level of supervision and cross checks by the Rural Management and Development Department.

The houses will be earthquake resistant and will be designed in such a way that the interiors get maximum sunlight and have air circulation.

As earthquake safety feature, foundation reinforcement, column size, plinth size of each house have been increased and additionally the GCI roof has been replaced by RCC slab roof with a three-feet parapet wall on all four sides.

The tiny northeastern state was hit by a major earthquake on September 18, 2011 in which more than 100 people lost their lives.

The Sikkim government is providing 0.25 acre land to each landless person living below the poverty line (BPL) to construct the house.

The administration has completed the construction work on 1,137 houses so far while construction work on 3,029 houses will be completed by December next. The construction work on remaining 1834 houses is under various stages of completion which will be completed during next financial year, Wangdi said.

PTI