600 climate refugee families getting flat at Tk 1,001 today
Published: 10:27 AM, 23 July 2020 Updated: 10:51 AM, 23 July 2020
Sheikh Hxasina Bishesh Asrayan Prakalpa, Cox`s Bazar. Photo: Daily Bangladesh
Thousands of people were displaced by the devastating cyclone in 1991 and took refuge in the slums near Cox’s Bazar airport.
Of these, nearly three decades of refugee life for 600 families is coming to an end today. Because a total of 600 families, who are climate refugees, are set to move into their new homes on Thursday, on the outskirts of Cox’s Bazar under Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s landmark Ashrayan project.
Each family will get a 456.07sqft flat in exchange of only Tk1,001 while all the buildings were equipped with a ramp system for people with disabilities, solar panels, safe drinking water, electricity, sanitation, waste management, drainage, cylinder gas, and burner.
“Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina will inaugurate the abodes through a video conference from her Ganabhaban residence and virtually visit the structures,” Ashrayan’s project director Md Mahbub Hossain told reporters a day ahead of the event.
He said 600 families would get their new houses on Thursday in 20 just-built special structures having 32 flats with all modern amenities at Khurushkul area of Cox’s Bazar.
In the first phase, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina will hand over flats to 600 families on Thursday and gradually a total of 4,500 families will be rehabilitated in phases in the Sheikh Hasina Shelter Project, the largest rehabilitation program for climate victims in the world.
According to project sources, 19 five-story buildings have been constructed in the first phase of this Bishesh Asrayan Prakalpa, a special project, sprawls across 253 acres of land on the banks of the Bakkhali River, 3 km away from Cox's Bazar. A total of 139 five-story buildings on 253.59 acres of land at a cost of Tk1800.39 crore will be constructed in this shelter project in four zones. Each five-story building has 32 flats of 456 square feet in where including solar panel each flat will have water, electricity and gas cylinder facilities.
Project director Md Mahbub Hossain said, “ The project area will have 14 playgrounds, green space, mosques, temples, primary and secondary schools, police and fire stations, three ponds, two jetties on the river and two electricity substations.”
There will also be 20 kilometers of internal roads, 36 km of drainage systems, drainage management, embankment protection dams, small bridges, ponds, and canals.
The project director further said that those who will get flats in the shelter project will be made financially self-sufficient through loans and training. There will also be a drywall mahal in the project area and a sales center and packaging industry will be set up here in phases. When the whole project is completed in 2023, it is not only 4,409 families who will get shelter here as a modern tourist zone will be set up on about 100 acres of land.
The buildings have been named by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina herself. The buildings are Dolanchapa, Rajnigandha, Gandharaja, Hasnahena, Kamini, Gulmohar, Golap, Sonali, Nilambri, Keora, Oyster, Coral, Mukta, Prabal, Sopan, Mankhali, Shankhali, Bankkhali, Inani, and Sampan.