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Get toilet,solar light free if you build houses in 6 months: World Bank offer to Kosi victims

The World Bank has offered to Kosi flood relief beneficiaries an incentive that is expected to put the reconstruction process on fast track: rebuild your houses in six months and get toilets and solar lights worth Rs 7,300 free of cost.

Written by Santosh Singh | Patna |
February 10, 2011 10:06:48 am

The World Bank has offered to Kosi flood relief beneficiaries an incentive that is expected to put the reconstruction process on fast track: rebuild your houses in six months and get toilets and solar lights worth Rs 7,300 free of cost.

The offer stands for 1,00,00 beneficiaries under the $259 million Bihar Kosi Recovery Project started in collaboration with Bihar government recently. World Bank president Robert B Zoellick was in Patna last month to sign the agreement with Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar. Bihar’s share in the project is $39 million.

Over 30,000 people have already got Rs 30,000 each as first installment in their bank accounts. The second installment of Rs 20,000 each will be released after construction is completed till lintel level.

A house owner,though free to engage mason and workers of his choice,will have to build the house on at least 215 sqft area under the project.

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As the house model is designed by disaster management experts who have worked in Bhuj and tsunami reconstruction,the owner has to choose from three models — bamboo wall with an attic,brick wall with an attic and brick wall with Reinforced Concrete Construction roof. A owner must avoid using jute,iron wires or nylon to tie knots but has to use zippers that can last 25 years. Only three-year-old bamboo can be used for such houses.

Non-compliance of the World Bank specifications would mean disqualification for incentives or even withholding of the second installment.

State coordinator with Owner Driven Reconstruction Collaborative,a network of reconstruction agencies helping the government in the Kosi project,Sanjay Pandey,told The Indian Express: “Each house will get Rs 2,300 for a toilet and Rs 5,000 for solar lighting only if the house is constructed within six months as per our specifications. Masons,social workers and engineers will also get incentives for house construction within six months.”

Pandey said while the toilet and solar lighting incentives have got listed beneficiaries from Madhepura,Supaul and Saharasa scramble at respective block offices to complete formalities,there is a sense of urgency among engineers,masons and social workers too.

An engineer can get Rs 100 per house incentive for a maximum 1,000 houses. A mason,who will supervise the construction,will get Rs 150 per house for maximum 100 houses and a social worker can get Rs 50 for maximum 500 houses construction within six months.

Pandey said over 50 per cent of the 100,000 beneficiaries were from below the poverty line. Madhepura district where 11 of 13 blocks were flooded in 2008 has maximum number of beneficiaries. Besides housing,90 bridges and 290 km of rural roads would also be constructed under the project.

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