The apartment complex which is named as “Pratheeksha (Hope)” was handed over to those fisherfolk whose homes were destroyed.

Kerala govt keeps promise to fisher folk hands over 2 BHK homes to 192 families
news Infrastructure Wednesday, October 31, 2018 - 19:44

Xavier and Carmel walked into their new home, apartment 24 A in Pratheeksha. As Xavier opens the door of their new house, Carmel tells TNM that this house is a dream come true for the couple whose house in Valiyathura was damaged by coastal erosion and rough sea in 2016.

“We somehow managed to survive in that broken house for the last two years. Looking around this apartment, we feel like we are in heaven,” said Xavier as he is done checking out his new home.

The Left Democratic Front Government has kept its promise to the fishing families of Valiyathura, Cheriyathura, Valiyathope and Kochuthope - all coastal areas in the capital city of Thiruvananthapuram. Much before the promised time, the state government on Wednesday handed over a newly constructed apartment complex in Muttathara to 192 fishing families of these areas.

The apartment complex which is named as “Pratheeksha (Hope)” was handed over to those fisherfolk whose homes were destroyed in 2016. Cyclone Ockhi, which hit the Kerala coast in December 2017 had made things tougher for these families as the sea became rougher since that.

Xavier and Carmel in their new house.

The apartment complex was constructed with the help of the Uralungal Labour Contract Cooperative Society (ULCCS) in an area of 3.5 acres and consists of 24 buildings with 8 houses each. Each house has a kitchen, one hall and two bedrooms each. All of this was constructed under a total budget of Rs 20 crores. Many on social media pointed out that the homes were handed over on the same day that the Prime Minister inaugurated the Sardar Patel statue at a budget of Rs 2,900 crores.

To say that fisherfolk in Kerala play an integral role in the state’s economy, would be an understatement. Apart from being the sector that earns 1.58 percentage of the state’s annual income, the state of Kerala also exports 15 percentage of the total fish exported from the country.

The fishermen of the state was also lauded widely for their role in the rescue operations during the devastating floods that hit the state in August this year. Many fishermen from the coastal areas of Thiruvananthapuram and Kollam rescued thousands of people who were stranded at homes in various parts of the state. Of the 192 houses handed over by the government, many had played a crucial part n rescue operations.

Many fishing families live in unsafe homes in the coastal areas. The proximity of their homes to the sea exposes them to the danger of being hit by rough seas and floods that can destroy their homes completely.

Speaking during the inaugural ceremony of the apartment complex on Wednesday, CM Pinarayi Vijayan said that one of the main goals of the LDF Government is to improve the living conditions of the fisherfolk of the state and that “Pratheeksha” is just the beginning.

“We continue to study the problems of the fishermen and based on that, we continue to come up with various projects to better the lives of the fisherfolk,” said Pinarayi Vijayan.

“The Government is also planning on setting up a hall for job training in the complex to train the people to perform and prepare for various other jobs as well,” said CM Pinarayi Vijayan.

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