Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina will hand the houses over to the recipients, in the second phase of the nationwide housing and rehabilitation program
Some 53,340 houses are ready to be handed over to homeless and landless families across Bangladesh under the Ashrayan project on Sunday.
This is the second phase of the government’s nationwide housing and rehabilitation program for the destitute.
“Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina will kick off the second phase of house handover to 53,340 families on Sunday,” PM's Principal Secretary Dr Ahmad Kaikaus said at a press briefing in Dhaka on Thursday.
“Not a single person will be homeless in Bangladesh in the Mujib Year,” he added.
In Teota village under Shibaloy upazila, Manikganj, 24 units of houses have been prepared for 24 enlisted homeless families.
“The government wants to eliminate homelessness in Bangladesh by distributing houses and land,” said Md Mahbub Hossain, project director, Ashrayan 2, during a visit to the project location.
“Along with the pucca houses, the poor families have got the ownership papers of two decimals of plot as well. All these houses have been constructed on khas land,” he added.
As a part of the house and rehabilitation program on the occasion of Mujib Year, being observed to celebrate the birth centenary of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, the government plans to provide houses to as many as 900,000 homeless people across Bangladesh.
On January 23, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina kicked off the ambitious project by initiating the first phase of the project, handing over houses to some 66,189 landless and homeless families as a gift, via videoconference.
The local authority constructed the houses following the prime minister’s directive, at the cost of Tk1,168 crore. Each of the houses, built on two decimals of land having two rooms, one balcony, and one toilet besides having a connection of electricity and water, cost Tk1.75 lakh.
However, the cost rose to Tk1.85-2 lakh for each house during the second phase.
In addition, the families will receive some extra money as well to furnish the houses. Homeless families in flatlands will be given Tk5,000 each, and families in haor areas will be given Tk7,000.
The beneficiaries will gradually be trained to enable themselves for a better livelihood, per the government plan.
A well-received initiative
Shibaloy upazila parishad Chairman Rezaur Rahman, also a freedom fighter, said the Ashrayan project was a blessing for the homeless people.
“Those listed to get housing under this project have been homeless for many years. They used to take shelter in other people’s houses. Now they are getting houses of their own - for the first time in their lives. What could be a greater gift?”
Rabeya Khatun, a beneficiary of the project at Teota village, is overjoyed that she is going to be a homeowner.
“We still can’t believe that we are getting such a great house as a gift from Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina. We appreciate the initiative taken by the government,” she said.
Monnaf, an elderly beneficiary, said: “I have somehow managed to live my life here. We suffered under the sun, rain and storm. Getting a house from the prime minister is the best thing that ever happened in my life. Now I am just counting the days.”
A young man named Sumon said: “Our scarcity is endless. I hope I can change my life after getting the house. Our fathers and grandfathers have had a hard time living here.”