Housing for all scheme may miss first target

Prime Minister Narendra Modi's ambitious “Housing for All” programme may fail to pass the first milestone of building dwelling units for one crore rural households by the end of current financial year. PTI file photo

Prime Minister Narendra Modi's ambitious “Housing for All” programme may fail to pass the first milestone of building dwelling units for one crore rural households by the end of current financial year.

Construction of about 65 lakh houses have been completed in the rural areas under the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (Gramin) till January 9. As it appears to be difficult to build the remaining 35 lakh houses over the next two-and-a-half months, the Union Government is now insisting on at least completing the paper works for sanctioning construction of the houses for one crore rural households by March 31.

The governments of the States and the Union Territories sanctioned houses for only about 95 lakh beneficiaries till January 9.

The senior officials of the union Ministry of Rural Development (MoRD) on Wednesday reviewed the progress in implementation of the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (Gramin) in a meeting with the officials of the governments of the States and Union Territories in New Delhi.

The Modi Government restructured the erstwhile rural housing scheme Indira Awaas Yojana into Pradhan Mantri Awaas Yojana (Gramin) with effect from April 1, 2016.

Prime Minister himself formally launched the PMAY-G on November 20, 2016. The restructured scheme is aimed at providing 'pucca' (built with brick and cement) houses with basic amenities to all households, which either have no house or have just 'kutcha' (built with mud and thatch) and dilapidated houses, by 2022. The BJP-led Government at the Centre also set an immediate target for the PMAY (G) – building houses for at least one crore beneficiaries by the end of 2018-19 financial year.

The State and the UT Governments reported that while altogether 1,11,96,709 prospective beneficiaries had registered under the PMAY (G) till early this month; construction of 95,11,540 houses had been sanctioned and 65,23,170 houses had actually been built till January 9, according to a MoRD note.

The MoRD nudged the governments of Bihar, Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh, Kerala, and Maharashtra to expedite works under the PMAY (G) scheme and complete the process of sanctioning 4.85 lakh houses more to help meet the target. The ministry also noted that construction of as many as 7,94,436 houses had not been completed even as 12 months passed away after they had been sanctioned.

Bihar tops the list of the states which have been slow in sanctioning houses despite registration of the beneficiaries. Chief Minister Nitish Kumar's Government has not sanctioned houses for 240530 registered beneficiaries. The governments of Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Uttar Pradesh and Maharashtra are yet to sanction houses for 42402, 40095, 32359, 25643, 22246 and 22191 households, who had registered to avail the benefit of the scheme.

The MoRD also noted that while 472345 landless beneficiaries had been identified, only 56694 (12%) had so far been provided land for construction of houses under the PMAY (G) scheme.

“Providing land to landless beneficiaries is crucial in achieving the target of construction of one crore houses. These landless beneficiaries are the most deserving PMAY (G) beneficiaries,” Prashant Kumar, Joint Secretary (Rural Housing) of the union MoRD, wrote to the senior officials of the State and UT Governments on January 4 last.
 

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