Karnataka to undertake survey to identify siteless families

Somanna said a survey conducted a few years ago put the number of such families at 14 lakh, including eight lakh in Bangalore, but added that as per his information, the actual figure is not that high.

"By June, we will get a clear picture (on the siteless families in the state)," he said. The minister said the Rajiv Gandhi Rural Housing Corporation Ltd has till date built 16 lakh houses (for BPL families, Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes), adding that the government has decided to give ownership rights to the beneficiaries if they pay back Rs 10,000 availed as loans for their construction under 'Ashraya' scheme.

Interest on the principal would also be waived in such cases, he added. At the same time, Somannna said majority of the houses built by the Corporation has collapsed.
This Corporation neither has the infrastructure nor efficient staff, the Minister admitted.

Somanna said the government is considering the merger this corporation, Slum Clearance Board and also attaching the 'Vajpayee Housing Scheme' with them, making them a single unit. He said 4,000 acres to 5,000 acres have been acquired or in the process of being acquired around Bangalore -- where there is a demand for one lakh sites -- including Kengeri, Thavarekere, Yelahanka, Devanahalli and Chikkaballapura.

Karnataka government recently said that 30,000 houses and sheds would be built for the people working in industrial areas specially for weaker sections of the labour community and staff, skilled workers, artisans and also 10,000 houses for the 'weighmen' and 'hamalis' working in agricultural markets. This would be taken up in association with the Karnataka Small Scale Industries Development Corporation.

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