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Around 1,500 people displaced by communal violence in central Burma’s Meikhtila have been awarded homes in a newly built housing complex, according to a project official.
Khin Nan, supervisor of the government-backed housing project, said that 350 new one-story homes in Chanayethar ward have already been allocated to displaced families, awarded by lottery on 19 August.
“Of the 350 homes, 250 are complete and ready for move-in. For the other 100 houses, residents will have the choice of moving in now or waiting until construction is complete,” he said.
Upon completion, each house will have two water tanks, solar panels, an electric meter box and electrical wire connections. Each household is granted a 30×40 ft plot of land.
The project is part of an ongoing effort to resettle the thousands of mostly Muslim residents who have been living in one of five displacement camps since riots broke out in the city in March 2013.
More than 10,000 people were initially displaced after Buddhist mobs ransacked a Muslim neighbourhood following a quarrel in a gold shop. Dozens were killed in the violence, and reports have suggested that authorities stood idly by as 20 Muslim students were massacred.
Khin Nan said that about 2,000 people now remain in two displacement camps. Construction is underway for a 171-unit apartment complex to accommodate the remaining refugees, which is due for completion in December.
The project implementation experienced some setbacks last year as many refugees, most of whom were farmers before the riots, opposed being relocated to an urban apartment complex. Recipients of the new houses, however, say they are satisfied with the arrangement.