Bring housing schemes under one roof, govt told

A committee constituted by the Housing Minister V Somanna has proposed to bring all the housing projects taken up by various government agencies under one umbrella.

Addressing the media in Bangalore on Monday, Somanna said the committee headed by the Urban Development Department secretary has recommended that eight to nine housing projects, including the Ambedkar Housing scheme and Valmiki Vasati scheme, be brought under the ambit of the Housing Department, which is already executing the Indira Awas and Basava Vasati schemes.

Somanna said there were a lot of discrepancies in the execution of the projects, including misappropriation and misuse of funds and the involvement of middlemen and agents.

As a result, the minister said, the government has not been able to put together statistics pertaining to the actual number of homeless people in the State. If the projects were all executed by Housing Department, the instances of corruption and other malpractices could be mitigated, he added.

The recommendation will be placed before the chief minister and subsequently brought before the Cabinet, he added.

Somanna also said his department would soon start work on construction of one lakh houses for slum dwellers across the State under the Rajiv Awas Scheme. The project will be taken up in and around 100 taluks and 24 urban local bodies including 16 slums in Bangalore, five in Mysore, apart from identified slums in Yadgir, Bijapur, Raichur and Jewargi.

The cost will be shared between the Centre and the State equally. Somanna said that there are 2,272 slums in the State, with more than 500 slums concentrated in Bangalore alone.

The project will be carried out in the same location as the slums, and the beneficiaries will be those residing in the slums identified.

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