"Tenders have been invited and work has begun for constructing 448 houses to be built in an area of 23 acres in the first phase," said R Murugaiha Pandian, chairman of Tamil Nadu Housing Board (TNHB) who conducted an inspection at the site for the township in Thoppur near Madurai airport.
The satellite township was announced by chief minister J Jayalalithaa in the state assembly on April 4. The township envisages 19,500 residential plots in an area of 586.86 acres at Thoppur and Uchapatti villages, about 15 km from Madurai.
Of the total plots, 14,300 houses would be allotted to low income group families, while 2,500 houses would be allotted to middle income group and 750 houses for high income group people. In addition, 1,950 plots are earmarked for people from economically weak background.
The government had set aside Rs 120 crore for providing basic amenities like drinking water, roads, drainage, streetlights, rainwater harvesting structures and parks in the project. The state government has sanctioned Rs 69 crore as the first instalment to carry out the project through TNHB.
While the work has begun for construction of the first phase of the houses, a layout has been prepared for 1,000 more houses in an area of 50 acres and TNHB is about to get approval from the local planning authority of Madurai. Efforts are on to commence development of housing plots in the remaining land, housing board officials said.
The township was planned in the outskirts in a bid to reduce congestion in the ever-growing city. Madurai, after the expansion of the corporation limits last year, has a population of about 15 lakh. In addition to congestion for living space, the city also reels under heavy traffic chaos thanks to mounting vehicular population.