Tsunami shelters available for sale, lease at Little Andaman

Blatant abuse of government funds
Report by: 
KRITI DE
Port Blair
12 Feb 2017

While the Government of India allocated and spent crores of rupees to rehabilitate victims of the 2004 earthquake and tsunami, 12 years after the calamity disturbing reports of sale or lease of the tsunami shelters have surfaced from the Little Andaman Island. If sources are to be believed, several original beneficiaries of the tsunami rehabilitation plan from Little Andaman are advertising sale of the pre-fabricated shelters for paltry revenue, while others are letting out the shelters on monthly rent of just Rs 1000-1200. Revenue officials posted in the region have, however, turned a blind eye to the unabated illegal practice.
According to reports, tsunami shelters constructed at various parts in Little Andaman are available for sale at around Rs 1.5 lakh. Most of the victims of the disaster or others, who occupied the shelters illegally, are openly auctioning the houses on stamp papers without even notarising it before the public notary, say our sources. Other occupants of the tsunami shelters let out their houses to government employees posted in the region for a monthly rent of just Rs  1000-1200.
“Hut Bay in Little Andaman is one of the most affected regions in the 2004 havoc. Several houses were devastated in the December 26 tsunami. Under the rehabilitation plan, the Government of India constructed 9797 permanent shelters across the affected regions and around 995 of them are located here in areas like at Onge Tikrey, 650 at Farm Tikrey near APWD Office and 365 at Harminder Bay for the Nicobar settlement etc. But sadly, the tsunami shelters are being sold or let out to outsiders, who  never faced the wrath of the giant waves that took  several lives in Little Andaman wreaking havoc unparallel in human history. Many of such tsunami shelters have been sold out to people merely on stamp papers without even notarising it before the Public Notary for just a lakh of rupees. Leave alone Hut Bay, such instances are also being reported from other parts in South Andaman. When I recently contacted a real estate agent, I was told that vacant land was not available at Bambooflat region, but a tsunami shelter could be purchased for Rs 1.5 lakh. The administration should take a serious note of such serious abuse of government funds meant for rehabilitation of disaster victims,” said a government official posted in Little Andaman speaking to this correspondent.
When contacted, the Tehsildar of Little Andaman appeared ignorant of the illegal practice in the region. “Sale or rent of permanent tsunami shelters is absolutely illegal, but we’ve received no such reports from the rehabilitation areas under this Tehsil,” said the Tehsildar assuring an inquiry into the claims made by this Correspondent.