Close to 90,000 fresh applications were received during a short window of five days in Kerala government’s LIFE Mission project
With the State government opening a short window of five days for fresh applications for the Livelihood, Inclusion, Financial Empowerment (LIFE) housing project, the total number of applicants in the latest phase of the project has swelled to 9.2 lakh. Close to 90,000 fresh applications were received across local bodies in the State during this short period of time.
The government had issued a call for fresh applications in August last year, when as many as 8.32 lakh applications were received. The list of applicants from each area has been published in the respective local body office. Officials pointed out that the verification process was bound to take time owing to the large number of applications. The number of beneficiaries is expected to come down after the verifications.
“It will take longer as some of the verification officers will be deployed for election duty. However, the rest of the officers will continue with the work. Since the applications are done online, we have to check the documents as well as make sure that they do not own houses presently. At least a few such applications turn up,” said a LIFE mission official.
The direct application method for LIFE project began for the first time in August last year. In the previous phases, the beneficiaries were chosen based on a survey conducted by the Kudumbashree. The project had in January hit a milestone of 2.5 lakh houses completed in phases. The work on 36 flat complexes is progressing in various parts of the State, out of which 10 are nearing completion.
The initial plan for the third phase was to accommodate landless families in flats. However, many beneficiaries are now coming forward with interest to purchase land and construct houses. For the government too, this is perhaps more economical as the cost of individual unit in a flat complex is around ₹13 lakh to ₹14 lakh, while individual houses can be built at ₹4 lakh. Finding land for flat complexes has also been a struggle in cities such as Thiruvananthapuram.