The second phase of Ashrayan project, a flagship scheme to provide accommodation for the homeless, is likely to see a cost hike and time extension to expand its coverage.
The scheme is being revised for the second time. This will increase the project cost by 120 percent or Tk 2,636 crore to Tk 4,840 crore and also extend the deadline by two more years until June 2019, sources at the Planning Commission said.
The exact cost of the project was fixed at Tk 1,169 crore and the deadline for its completion was June 2014.
Later, the cost was hiked to Tk 2,204 crore while the deadline extended until June 2017 in the first revision.
The government said an initiative of further revising the project has been taken in line with its newly-declared vision for ‘accommodation for all’.
At a meeting in March 2016, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina directed rehabilitation of 2.50 lakh destitute families under the Ashrayan-2 project, official sources said.
Now the number of beneficiary has been proposed to be increased from 50,000 homeless poor families to 2.50 lakh and the ‘building houses on own land’ component from 4,000 to 1.70 lakh.
Besides, the scheme will see some major changes, including construction of 139 five-storey buildings instead of 245 four-storey buildings to rehabilitate 4,409 families in Cox’s Bazar.
The project will accommodate a new component to construct 9,031 moveable CI-sheet barracks in char areas. Some 2,926 concrete barracks and 1,782 semi-pucca barracks will be constructed as well.
The loan being provided under the project will also be increased apart from increasing food support from 1.50 lakh metric tonnes to 2.40 lakh metric tonnes to conduct some development work. Some 75,541 poor families will get the income-generating training and loan.
Apart from constructing 1.70 lakh CI-sheet houses, 3,710 semi-pucca houses will be build on the land of some project beneficiaries.
Also, 600 houses for ethnic minority people in three hilly districts, 900 community centres, 400 ghats, and many small roads, culverts, guide walls, and infrastructure for power and safe water will be constructed in the project areas.
Under the ongoing Ashrayan-2 project, a total of 37,779 families have been rehabilitated at a cumulative cost of Tk 996 crore, official figures show.
The government rehabilitated 47,210 destitute families under Ashrayan project during the 1997-2002 period, spending Tk 300 crore, after a devastating cyclone left hundreds of families in the coastal belt in great distress in 1997.
In continuation of the project, the government undertook the first phase in 2002 under which a total of 58,703 homeless families were rehabilitated at a cost of Tk 608 crore.