Thiruvananthapuram: The LIFE (Livelihood Inclusion Financial Empowerment) project, aimed at constructing flats for the homeless, is facing a setback as only four out of the planned 39 flats have been completed to date. Construction companies have been urging the government for a contract renewal, citing escalating construction material costs as a major hindrance. The companies assert that the impasse is a result of the government’s reluctance to meet this demand.
Initially, the first phase of construction involved collaboration with private entrepreneurs and corporate entities to build flats. However, construction came to a standstill following the Vadakkencherry flat controversies related to gold smuggling. While flats were proposed in 39 locations, contracts were signed for only 29 places. Companies such as Pennar in Hyderabad, Mitsumi in Ahmedabad, and Suri and Lakshmi in Delhi were tasked with the construction.
The companies had demanded to increase the contract amount up to 40 percent. Then a special committee was formed to conduct a detailed study on the same. But the finance department did not grant permission for the increase, citing a worsening financial crisis. Consequently, construction companies were forced to halt the project, leaving it incomplete.