The Ashrayan-2 project, the government’s flagship scheme to provide shelters to the homeless people, is set to be revised for the fourth time to widen its scope to achieve the target, shooting up the cost by more than 130 per cent to Tk 111.43 billion.
Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) has been implementing the 2nd phase of Ashrayan project from 2010 after successful execution of the 1st phase since 1997.
The Ashrayan-2 project’s original cost was Tk 11.69 billion which went up to Tk 48.26 through some cost hikes and cuts in three project revisions.
Now, the cost has been proposed to be raised by nearly 131 percent to Tk 111.43 billion in the fourth project revision proposal to expand project activities, planning commission sources informed.
So far, the project’s cumulative expenditure stood at Tk 44.50 billion to obtain 93 percent physical progress of the existing scope of the project.
The second phase with a four-year term was launched in late August 2010 to rehabilitate 50,000 distressed families through establishing 700 Ashrayan villages in different parts of the country.
The scheme saw first revision in August 2013 to increase the project cost by Tk 10.35 billion to Tk 22.04 billion with a time extension of three years to 2017 to construct multi-storey buildings in urban areas instead of previously planned tin-shed houses.
Later, the rehabilitation work for the families affected by Cox’s Bazar international airport extension was included in the Ashrayan-2 project that caused third revision by extending project time up to June 2022 but modestly curtailing the project cost.
As part of observance of Mujib Centenary and implementation of the government’s 2020 plan to provide shelters to homeless people, it had been decided to provide separate homes to the homeless people in line with the design approved by the Prime Minister approved.
Under the new initiative, both land and home is being provided to people without having land and home, while only home is being provided to people who have land. The number of families is shooting up as well to nearly five lakh.
Until June 2020, the government was able to rehabilitate 213,227 families. The fourth revision has been proposed to fulfill the project target, repair barracks and carry out other activities by June 2023.
The project evaluation committee (PEC) under the Planning Commission has already held meeting on the revision proposal and recommended for approval. The project is being tabled at Ecnec for final approval.
In early September this year, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina approved partial design of the home and asked for completing the scheme by June 2023 even though it had been proposed to extend project time up to June 2024, official sources said.
Besides, she also raised the cost for constructing shelters to Tk 2.40 lakh per home from Tk 2 lakh.
Under the fourth revised project, 485,092 homeless and helpless families will be rehabilitated alongside constructing 5,149 pucca barracks across the country.
Besides, some 5,078 semi-pucca barracks will be built in coastal areas and another 4,393 semi-pucca barracks in other parts of the country under the revised scheme.
Moreover, 60 multi-storey buildings, 1,120 community centres, 580 specially-designed houses, internal roads, box culverts, drains, slope protection will be built in each project-village apart from installing tube wells.
A cyclone left many families homeless in Cox’s Bazar and adjacent districts in 1997. After visiting the areas, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina became very sympathetic to them and gave instant directives on rehabilitating them.