A total of 230 landless families of small ethnic communities in the Bandarban district of Bangladesh will get environment-friendly Machang Ghar—houses built on wooden or bamboo platforms—from Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.
According to Bandarban district administration, houses are being built under the Ashrayan project initiated by the Prime Minister’s Office for a total of 4,133 families. The government has allocated Tk 70 crore for building a total of 3,560 houses, and each Machang Ghar is being built at a cost of Tk 2.5 lakh.
As of now, a total of 2,968 semi pucca houses have been handed over to their recipients and construction of another 592 houses, including 230 Machang Ghars, are currently underway.
Visiting the construction works in Jamchari union under Bandarban Sadar upazila on Monday (October 31, 2022), Chattogram’s Divisional Commissioner Md Ashraf Uddin expressed satisfaction at the progress of the project.
“Instead of building semi pucca houses as in other areas of the country, we’re building Machang Ghars for the homeless ethnic people keeping in line with their culture and traditions,” said Ashraf.
Yasmin Parvin Tibriji, Deputy Commissioner (DC) of Bandarban, said that the Machang Ghars are being built based on people’s demands.
“After consulting the local public representatives, we sent a proposal to the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) regarding the construction of Machang Ghars. A team from the PMO approved our proposal after visiting the area,” Yasmin said.
Yasmin added that the district administration received the allocation under the fourth phase of the Ashrayan project.
“Currently, nine Machang Ghars are being built in the district’s Sadar upazila, while Alikadam, Naikhongchhari, Rowangchhari, Lama, Ruma and Thanchi upazilas are getting 1, 15, 45, 15, 100 and 45 Machang Ghars, respectively,” Yasmin added.
Kwashingshoi, Chairman of Jamchari union, lauded the government’s initiative to build Machang Ghars instead of semi-pucca houses.
“The hilly people like Machang Ghars more than semi-pucca houses as they can use the elevated portions of the houses to rear domestic animals and store necessary goods throughout the year. Besides, air flows through Machang Ghars more than brick-built houses, which is also important for people living in the hills,” Kwashingshoi said.
However, Kwashingshoi added that the government of Bangladesh needs to allocate at least Tk 4 lakh to build a proper Machang Ghar.
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