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Over 3.55 lakh landless and homeless families across the country will get shelters and livelihood by 2019 through one of the Prime Minister’s 10 priority initiatives, ‘Ashrayan Prakalpa’, reports BSS.
“A total of 2, 64,442 families have so far been rehabilitated across the country under the scheme in three phases since 1997,” Project Director of the Ashrayan-2 Project Abul Kalam Shamsuddin told the state news agency. He said the project started in 1997 and the first two phases of the scheme were completed in 2010.
Shamsuddin said the government undertook the Ashrayan-2 project in 2010 for providing shelter to around 2.50 lakh families at a cost of Taka 4,840.28 crore which is scheduled to be finished by 2019.
Under this project, he said, the government rehabilitated a total of 1, 58,529 families from July, 2010 till now.
The project director said at the same time, a total of 864 villages got electricity connection and around 4.60 lakh trees were planted in the project areas. “The rehabilitated people are leading a happy life with income-generating activities and their children are going to schools to become worthy citizens of the country,” he said.
He said, the government has already allocated housing to 1,15,775 homeless families, including 601 beggars under the project.
“The construction of houses for homeless people is ongoing and about 30 houses have already been constructed,” he added.
Shamsuddin said the government has undertaken the project to make the life of the homeless people meaningful through providing shelter and assistance.
He said the activities of the project will be accelerated further in future to alleviate poverty for materialising the ‘Vision 2021’ and achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030.
The project director informed that the local government division has been implementing comprehensive social safety net programmes under the scheme for mainstreaming the rehabilitated people with support, training and assistance from the government.
The adult male-female members of the rehabilitated families are receiving training on various issues, expertise and human resource development to engage themselves in income-generating works, he added.
Under the project, he said, the government has also rehabilitated about 70 leprosy patients at Bandar Bari Ashrayan Prakalpa in Gazipur district and set up a “Hijra Palli” in Dinajpur Sadar upazila for the transgender people.
Shamsuddin said the government under Ashrayan Project-2, is also constructing 139 multi-storied buildings in Cox’s Bazar to rehabilitate over 4,400 poor families who are victims of climate-induced disasters like cyclone, river erosion and landslides.
“The government is erecting shelters for climate victims on 253.35 acres of land near the Cox’s Bazar Airport,” he added.
In this area, he said, the government has also taken an initiative to develop a modern tourist zone and a distinctive dry fish market with a tower naming after Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.
He said Local Government Engineering Department (LGED) will also construct a bridge over the Bakkhali River, while the Water Development Board will build an embankment to protect the project area from river erosion.
Deputy Project Director SM Hamidul Haque said the construction works of the 20 shelters for climate migrants are running fast while the construction of other buildings will begin soon.
Executive Director of Bangladesh Centre for Advanced Studies (BCAS) Dr Atiq Rahman said Bangladesh is a pioneer in taking many climate initiatives and has demonstrated leadership in sheltering families displaced by climate related calamities.
“The country has taken many landmark initiatives like the National Adaption Programme of Action (NAPA) and the Bangladesh Climate Change Strategy and Action Plan (BCCSAP) which have been highly acclaimed nationally and globally,” he said.