Govt urged to rethink decision on Ashraya housing panel

Govt urged to rethink decision on Ashraya housing panel

A recent decision by the state government to set up a monitoring committee for Gram Sabhas, to decide on beneficiaries under the Ashraya housing scheme, has received flak from rural self-governance proponents.

Recently, Housing Minister V Somanna had stated that the government would constitute a monitoring committee consisting of MLAs, DC, CEO of Zilla Panchayat, Tahsildar and PDOs to oversee the allotment of houses under the Ashraya scheme. According to Somanna, the list of beneficiaries must have the approval of this committee. The minister had said the move came in the wake of irregularities in implementation of the scheme.

However, such a move would be against the idea of self-governance and would be detrimental to the functioning of Gram Sabhas, said members of Gram Panchayat Hakkottaaya Andolana, urging the government to roll back its decision. In an official statement, the organisation stated: “The Gram Panchayat Hakkottaaya Andolana strongly opposes this decision of the government which curtails the right of the Gram Sabhas to select the beneficiaries of the housing scheme and which completely undermines the power of the gram panchayat as local self-government.”

According to Article 40 of Indian Constitution, the directive principles are given to the state government asks the government to take steps to organise village panchayats and enable them to function as units of self-government, the statement added.

Speaking to DH, Kripa M M, member of the Gram Panchayat Hakkotaya Andolana, said that they would soon be organising protests in various districts to oppose the move.