promote social justice and spread Thanthai Periyar’s message of social equality, a housing scheme called Samathuvapuram was launched by Government of Tamil Nadu in the year 1997-98 vide G.O.(Ms.) No. 171, Adi Dravida & TribalWelfare(LA-4) Department ,dated 22.10.1997. Under the scheme, model habitations called 'Samathuvapuram' are established in rural areas in which all the communities live with unity and brotherhood and share all basic infrastructure and amenities without discrimination. Government constructs houses and also provides other civic infrastructure in the habitation and the houses are allotted among the beneficiaries belonging to different communities at random.
The first Samathuvapuram was inaugrated on 17th August, 1998 in Melakottai village of Madurai by Hon'ble Chief Minister. Till now, 145 Samathuvapurams have been established in the State.
1.5.2 Revival of the scheme
In tthe Governor’s Address, 2008 made in the Assembly on 23.1.2008, among others, it has been announced that “considering the fact that an even better way of spreading Thanthai Periyar’s message of social equality would be to establish another 95 Samathuvapurams in his name”.
Government have accordingly decided to revive the scheme and construct another 95 Samathuvapurams. In the first phase, 29 Samathuvapurams has been established at the rate of one Samathuvapuram in each district except Nilgiris District during the year 2008-09.
18.104.22.168 Brief Guidelines
Government have issued detailed guidelines for implementation of the scheme vide G.O.Ms.no.59, Rural Development and Panchayat Raj (SGS-1) Department, dated 16.04.2008. Under the scheme, a habitation consisting of 100 houses shall be constructed complete with basic infrastructure like Street lights, Drinking water with OHT, BT/CC roads and Public Distribution Shop. Each house shall have a separate toilet and an appropriate disposal system like septic tank with soak pit. Houses shall be allotted to the beneficiaries selected by a team consisting of the following:
- Project Director, DRDA, who will be the Chairman of the Committee
- Block Development Officer (Block Panchayat)
- Tahsildar of the Taluk
- President of the Village Panchayat where Samathuvapuram is located
- Concerned VAO (s)
- One PLF member from the Samathuvapuram village
The Committee for selection of beneficiaries for Samathuvapuram will seek applications from those eligible who will be willing to stay at Samathuvapuram on permanent basis. While selecting the beneficiaries for Samathuvapuram, the persons living in houses with i) mud walls with thatched roof, ii) brick walls with thatched roof, iii) mud walls with tiled roof, and iv) brick walls with tiled roof will be given priority in the above order as such persons are likely to be poorer. Persons residing in houses with RCC roof will not be eligible for Samathuvapuram houses. No such persons who have been the beneficiaries of IAY houses or other housing schemes such as Fishermen free housing Scheme, Tribal housing through Adi Dravidar and Tribal Welfare Department will be eligible for getting house under Samathuvapuram. The beneficiaries list will have to be finally approved by the District Collector. As far as possible, the beneficiaries shall be selected from the Village in which Samathuvapuram is being constructed. Allotment of the houses to the beneficiaries will be in the following proportions:
- SCs - 40
- BCs - 25
- MBCs - 25
- Others - 10
Reservation of 3% will be done horizontally across all communities for selecting beneficiaries with over 70% and above physical disability or mentally retardation, as certified by the competent authority. Wherever deemed necessary allotment may be made in the name of parents of the disabled. Pattas shall be issued to the beneficiaries upfront and they should be given in such a manner that families of all communities live adjacent to each other in an inter-mixed manner. The beneficiaries shall not be allowed to either sell or mortgage the house upto 30 years from the date of allotment. They are not allowed to use the house for non-residential purposes.
The entire cost of the Samathuvapurams will be met by the Government of Tamil Nadu. 29 Samathuvapuram at a cost of Rs.75 crores has been provided in 2008-09. In 2009-10 a sum of Rs.75 crores has been provided for 30 Samathuvapuram and Rs.75 Crores for 2010-11 for 36 Samathuvapuram.
In 2009-10 also 29 Samathuvapuram works were completed & inaugurated except Kanniyakumari District, the works are nearing completion.
In 2010-11, 6 districts viz., Tiruvannamalai, Kancheepuram, Erode, Pudukottai (Pakkudi), Virudhunagar (2 sites viz. Cheetikurichi, Moovaraivendran) works have been completed and inaugurated and 30 Samathuvapuram works are in progress in various stages.