The government’s allocation of low-cost houses to some 1,480 homeless families of Faridpur under the Asrayan-2 project, as promised by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina to mark the Mujib Centennial, has brought smiles all around, among those who usually have very little to smile about.
Under the project, semi-permanent houses with land in the project area titled ‘Swapno- Neer’ will be handed over to the down-and-out families of nine upazilas of Faridpur district by January 2021 (next month), with the number of beneficiaries expected to increase in future as such schemes are scaled up.
Upazila administration disbursed Tk 1.75 lakh per unit for constructing a dwelling with two rooms (20 feet by 22 feet wide), a kitchen, a toilet, and a front porch. Approximately Tk 25.82 crore is the total slated to be spent on the project. With one unit for each of the 1480 families chosen, the total number of beneficiaries is estimated between 6000-7500.
A Mujib Year village is being built on a demesne next to Thenthenia Bazar road in Saltha upazila to alleviate the need for unsheltered.
“Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina is buttressing helpless families as part of the birth centenary celebrations of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman,” said Faridpur Deputy Commissioner Atul Sarkar while inspecting the construction sites at Macchar union in Sadar Upazila on Saturday morning.
Earlier, the Prime Minister announced that March 2020 to March 2021 would be observed as ‘Mujib Borsho’ (Mujib Year) across the country to mark the birth centenary of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.
‘Mujib Borsho’ will be followed by the golden jubilee celebration of the country’s independence in 2021.
“Upazila officials are working tirelessly from dawn till dusk to complete the project,” Atul Sarkar assured a group of journalists who travelled with him. For him, it is ‘tears of happiness’ of the homeless people upon receiving the shelters, that serve as the greatest inspiration.
President of Faridpur Press Club Kabirul Islam Siddiqui and other officials were present at the time.
Faridpur Sadar Upazila Executive Officer Masum Reza said “Swapno-Neer is built under the leadership of DC Atul Sarker, and under the close supervision of the Upazila Nirbahi Officers (UNO) and Assistant Commissioners (Land) of the Upazila.”
Upazila and UP chairmen along with local MPs have also stepped forward to realize the vision. Not just DCs, even Additional Deputy Commissioners (ADCs) are also monitoring the progress of the construction directly.
One of the beneficiaries, Rashed Khan, 60, said he had no place to live except a shack put together from jute stick and polythene in Gotti union of Chunakhali. He had to survive there with his wife, a son, and a daughter after being evacuated.
Now once he receives the keys to his small apartment in Swapno-Neer, at least he will have a shelter for his family, with a roof over their heads.
Similarly, Sheikh Moslem (65), Abul Kalam (55), Sakirnnesa (65), wife of Lal Miah of Delannagar in Gunbaha union of Boalmari Upazila, Sheikh Mozam (65) of Kodalia Shahidnagar village of Nagarkanda, Lipi Begum (53) and others like them are among the lucky ones set to benefit from the implementation of Asrayan-2.
UNB visited the site of the project to collect information at about 7am on Friday and found Upazila Nirbahi Officer Mohammad Hasib Sarkar and Assistant Commissioner (Land) Marufa Sultana Khan Hiramani supervising the construction works at that hour. Two officials of the field administration said they were overseeing the construction work and checking over the proper completion every day to ensure a safe shelter for the helpless families.
Upazila Nirbahi Officer of Adjacent Boalmari Jhotan Chanda said they listed uprooted and landless families with the help of UP Chairman after compiling information from the local land office. And they too are regularly keeping abreast of the construction work.
“Only married man with a demolished home, deserted housewives, indigent widows, and down and out families owning no land were plumped for this convenience,” said Nagarkanda Assistant Commissioner (Land), Ahsan Mahmud Russell.
Bhanga Upazila Executive Officer Rakibur Rahman said the houses with lands will be handed over lawfully to the evacuees. Each family will get an average of about 3 percent of the land, including houses.
According to sources, 292 houses are constructed for the homeless in Faridpur’s Sadar Upazila, 250 in Bhanga Upazila, 220 in Alfadanga, 178 in Sadarpur, 150 in Charbhadrasan, 148 in Madhukhali, 105 in Nagarkanda, 92 in Boalmari, and 35 in Saltha Upazila.
Source: United News of Bangladesh