Khulna, Jan 3 (UNB) – The tin-shed houses are easily flooded in the rainy season. At times, even the kitchens are inundated, rendering the residents unable to cook meals.
The situation sometimes forces them to spend sleepless nights on the beds with family members.
With years of negligence, the residents of the government’s Asrayan Project for sheltering the homeless in Terkhada’s Harikhali are now left with dilapidated and damp households.
Apart from waterlogging and crumbling homes, unemployment is also forcing residents to leave the project homestead.
The government initiated the project in 2002 to provide housing for the poor and homeless. There are 24 homes for 240 impoverished families.
Most of the houses have gone rusty and become unlivable in absence of proper supervision and repair works.
Many families, who had originally moved here, had left the place, leaving some of the homes empty. Constantly fighting nature and poverty are parts of lives of those who are still here.
Mud, excavated during the dredging of nearby Atharobaki River, has been piled up on the southern part of the project, partially blocking the entrances of some of the homes.
“The units (homes) are no longer livable,” one of the residents said.
There is no market nearby or employment opportunities. Many families left the project for safety issues, while many others fled the project area to avoid investigations into illegally securing houses there.
Md Liton Ali, Terkhada Upazila Nirbahi Officer, said uninhabitable houses and unemployment are among key reasons why people are leaving the project.
He said they were “trying to repair” the houses and dredge the nearby river and canal to solve the water scarcity.
“Initiatives have been taken to rehabilitate the destitute, homeless and the poor in the empty units,” the UNO said. “We’ll take actions against those who were allotted houses on political considerations.”