Reaffirming her commitment to ensure accommodation and jobs for the poor and the homeless, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Wednesday said she does not want anyone to remain homeless after Bangabandhu’s birth centenary.
“Our aim is to ensure home for all … we must arrange shelter for everyone. I want no one to remain homeless after the birth centenary of Bangabandhu and the golden jubilee of the country’s independence,” she said.
The Prime Minister was inaugurating 11 new cluster villages in 10 upazilas of seven districts through videoconferencing from her official residence Ganobhaban in the morning.
The government has provided houses to some 1500 people of 390 landless families in the new cluster villages.
Each family received a 300 sqf two-room house having separate toilet, separate bathroom for women, kitchen and tubewell facilities as well as financial assistance and socio-economic training.
The cluster villages are Saniajan in Patgram and Hiramanik 1 & 2 in Sadar upazila of Lalmonirhat, Kote Bhajani Baladuti (enclave) in Debiganj of Panchagarh, Bairachuna Sirail in Pirganj of Thakurgaon, Baghpur-2 in Kaharole and Refugeepara-1 in Parbatipur upazila of Dinajpur, Juan-1 in Pirgachha and Arji Joydev in Gangachhara of Rangpur, Salaipur in Sadullapur of Gaibandha and Kabirpur-5 in Sadarpur upazila of Faridpur.
The Prime Minister talked to the officials and people of the cluster villages in Lalmonirhat and Panchagarh districts.
Sheikh Hasina urged people to work hard to change their fate and live on their own feet, saying her government will extend necessary support if they face any crisis.
Various multifaceted programmes have been taken to ensure accommodation and employment of the poor, she said, adding that her government does not want to see anyone begging and with home.
Recalling the initiative of the Bangabandhu government taken in 1972 to provide houses to homeless people through constructing cluster villages in Noakhali district, she said she also continues the programme and builds houses for the homeless under the Asrayan Project to ensure at least a small shelter for the poor.
She mentioned that step has been taken to build such houses on khas (govt) land through NGOs to give houses to the homeless and ensure their employment.
Hasina said some 2.80 lakh families are estimated to have remained homeless in the country and deputy commissioners concerned have been directed to look after them and build houses for them.
She underscored the need for the beneficiaries to use the facilities to further improve their living conditions.
Talking about the land boundary agreement with India, the Prime Minister said Bangladesh set an example in the world that land-related dispute could peacefully be settled.
Land Minister Shamsul Rahman Sherif, Chairman of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Land Ministry Reazul Karin Hira and State Minister for Land Saifuzzaman Chowdhury were present at Ganobhaban.
The cluster villages were constructed as part of the ‘Guchhagram-2nd Phase (Climate Victims Rehabilitations)’ project. Documents of the houses have already been handed over to the landless 390 families.
The Land Ministry is implementing the project that began on October 1 in 2015 at a cost of Tk 9,418,130,000.
Under the scheme that will end in June 2020, as many as 2,500 cluster villages will be constructed across the country and 50,000 landless and homeless families will be rehabilitated.
In the current fiscal year, 135 cluster villages will be built at a cost of Tk 90 crore. As many as 4600 families will be rehabilitated through these cluster villages.
The cluster village programme was originally launched by Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman in 1972 through constructing 1,826 cluster villages.