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Housing Permanent Secretary Allagapen Called upon re Dangerous Houses


LALIT together with Muvman Lakaz and the Inhabitants of Cite Richelieu have begun to send individual letters to the Permanent Secretary, Ms. D. Allagapen, at the Ministry of Housing and Lands. It is the FOURTH letter being sent by each of the 15 or so families concerning the dangerous housing that they have been sold or leased by the State. Minister Soodhun, instead of looking after dangerous housing his Ministry has supplied, is either looking after the sugar estate’s plans to sell off land to millionaires or alternatively spending his time giving statements to the Police after being reported for making death threats against political adversaries. The inhabitants decided to direct their complaint directly to the civil servant legally bound to deal with it.

The letters to the Permanent Secretary are being mailed individually as from 1st August.

 The problem is a serious one. Of the hundreds of houses at Cite Richelieu, there are just some 15 which were so badly constructed that they are literally falling down on the families living in them. The houses were constructed with no proper columns. After both the Government engineer and a private engineer have declared the houses too dangerous to inhabit, the families concerned are calling for immediate pulling down and reconstruction of the housing, on the grounds that it is the State’s responsibility to supply safe housing. The situation is identical to the situation of the asbestos housing, which the State has taken responsibility to replace. The 15 families have explored the existing possibilities put forward by the Minister in a communiqué. This communiqué, however, was never sent to them, or as far as we know, ever put up on an official website. The measures proposed in any case, whether they are official or not, are totally inappropriate: money for a concrete slab, for example, if actually used for a slab would result in the immediate collapse of the houses that have no columns; the other options all involve people earning less than Rs 5,000 or so per month, which is less than the universal old-age-pension, and many of the families include an old person or someone on invalid’s pension. Any family that can afford to rebuild, has already done so. Not only do big bits of the collapsing slab fall on to people in the houses, but the doors and windows often no longer open and close because the lintels have ceded. All the houses leak like sieves, and in this cold rain, the situation becomes untenable, especially for families with babies, old people, those recovering from cancer surgery and asthmatics.

 The Permanent Secretary will now have to take her responsibility, and LALIT calls on her to at once publicize an Engineer’s Report on the houses, and to announce what the Government intends to do.

 Here is the exact wording of the individual letters being sent to the PS:

 “Mwa, antan ki sinyater, mo reprezant mo fami. Sa fer 4yem let mo pe avoy kot Minister Lozman. Mo finn avoy enn let individyel ek enn let kolektif an Mars 2016. Mo finn anvoy enn 3yem let an Novam 2016, ki nu ti kite an-min prop. Asterla mo pe avoy 4yem let. Nu pa finn gayn okenn repons depi Minister. Sa let la, mo pe adres u, antan ki Sekreter Permanan. Nu res dan enn lakaz ki enn danze permanan pu nu lasante, e lasante nu fami. Lakaz pe literalman grene lor nu. Li osi kule kuma enn paste. Mo okuran ki anfindekont, u mem sa Ofisye Ansarz kan vann, donn bay, uswa lwe lakaz danzere avek dimunn kuma nu.

 Ki nu finn aste lakaz la ubyin non, ki nu finn osi aste later la ubyin non, nu tu pe viv, anfindekont, dan lozman ki Guvernman finn furni, e ki defektif, mem danzere. Li finn vinn danzere kan so bann kolonn ki finn mal-ranze finn kumans sede. Enn inzenyer Guvernman apel “Sachin” inn deza vinn get lakaz, dir pa kapav reste ladan. De nu kote osi enn inzenyer inn dir mem zafer. Alor, samem nu pe ekrir u.

 Li responsabilite u Minister pu adres sa sityasyon la imedyatman e san means-test. Nu tu viv san ase larzan pu antrepran loperasyon kase-ranze, me Guvernman responsab akoz li finn vann nu enn lakaz defektif, mem danzere.

 E nu remarke ki anmemtan u Minister pe flank nu sek, nu tann gran gran lanons ki Guvernman pe donn fasilite e pe kareman donn sibsid, san means-test, pu tablisman mont vila delix pu vann ar milyarder depi deor. 

 Alor nu pe ekrir u pu fer demand swivan:

 Ki Guvernman kase-re-ranz nu lakaz.

 Ki exakteman Leta so plan ete pu ki fini ar nu lakaz danzere?

 Nu kone ki ena problem “lakaz zeritye” ki poze akoz lalwa leritaz Napoleonik arkaik, ki miltipliye problem sak zenerasyon, kot dimunn mizer zame kapav met lord. Akurterm, Guvernman bizin zis kone kisannla res la, anrezistre fami la, kase-reranze, e re-rann mem fami.

 Nu ti pu apresye si u ti kapav aranz enn rankont atraver nu Komite Konzwin. Kumsa nu reprezantan kapav kone ki plan presi Guvernman ena pu demoli lakaz danzere, reranz nuvo lakaz pu ki nu pa sibir plis ditor, mem domaz, depi lozman ki u Minister finn furni nu.”