Construction of houses at Samanthampettai, Nagapattinam

13 July 2005 — Samanthampettai, Nagapattinam District, Tamil Nadu

Construction of houses for the tsunami victims is progressing at a brisk pace in Samanthampettai, Nagapattinam District. The government of Tamil Nadu initially allotted seven acres of land for the Ashram to build houses upon. Here the Ashram is building a self-sufficient colony consisting of , community hall, a day-care centre, roads, water supplies, a playground and a market area.

Isolated column footing work for 130 houses is complete. Concrete work for 35 houses is complete. More 500 people are working for the construction. This includes 40 carpenters who fabricate 50 to 70 doors and windows daily. Water for mixing concrete is brought in tankers from a place eight kilometres away. Sand is also transported from a spot more than 70 kilometres away. Metal is brought from an area nearly 190 kilometres away. Two concrete mixing machines and machines for making hollow bricks have been installed. A full-fledged kitchen is functional on site providing three meals a day for the workers. Drinking water has also been made available using hand pumps.

The president of India, Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, visited the Samanthampettai construction site in Nagapattinam on 30 June 2005. He expressed his happiness at the progress of work and complemented the efforts of the Ashram.

Incidentally, the Ashram is the only organisation to start tsunami-relief housing construction in Nagapattinam.