Malappuram: About 200 tribals who lost their houses in the flood could soon move to a new village set up at Akambadam with facilities suiting their traditional lifestyle. It will benefit the residents of Nilambur, Chaliyar Mathilmoola and Chettiampara colonies who were affected by floods. This is the first such attempt in Kerala to rehabilitate tribal people dispossessed by the 2018 flood.
As many as 34 houses will be built in the village which will feature a centre to procure forest produce, kindergarten, community hall, temple and a crematorium. Other facilities include a clinic, training centre, open-air theatre, gym, community kitchen, biogas plant, common cowshed, pump house, ground and shops.
Space has also been marked for a general assembly of the Paniya tribe. This space can also be used to gather people in emergency situations.
The agriculture department will support the project by conserving the Kuthirapuzha River, building bathing ghats and rainwater harvesting pits, small-scale irrigation facilities for the cultivation of coconut, arecanut, pepper and vegetables.
The plan prepared by the district rural and urban planning division has been approved by the tribal rehabilitation and development mission. The tribal welfare department will release Rs 6 lakh for the construction of each house. The entire project is expected to cost Rs 5.5 crore. The common facilities will be built using funds drawn from various departments.
Houses will be constructed in the first phase of the development. Each of the 34 families have been granted 50 cents each. Each of them can claim a house of 550 square feet that complies with government norms.
The house-building teams comprise officers of the village planning department, architects and volunteers.
The plans were drawn up in consultation with each of the beneficiary families. The plans were later approved by the village assembly. The houses will have study rooms for students and resting places for the elderly members. The plan allows for later addition of rooms. The houses will face each other as in a traditional tribal hamlet. Each house will have an adjacent cowshed and farming area behind them.
The whole project takes into account the lifestyle of the Paniya tribe.