Karnataka govt grapples with soaring housing demand

Karnataka govt grapples with soaring housing demand

Representative image (pixabay image)

Demand for housing has risen with the government having identified 36.69 lakh houseless and siteless people across the state, a majority of them living in rural areas. 

The survey was done through local bodies - rural and urban - by the Housing department. 

Of the 36.69 lakh, there are 18.73 lakh houseless and 6.54 lakh siteless in rural areas, with 2.96 lakh houseless and 6.54 lakh siteless in urban areas, according to data tabled by the government in the Legislative Assembly. 

While Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa has identified housing as a priority area, officials say it is a tough task given the huge pendency of projects and the finances required. For instance, the government has constructed 14.35 lakh houses whereas 4.37 lakh are under various stages of construction for which an estimated Rs 4,033 crore is needed. 

In his 2020-21 Budget, Yediyurappa has earmarked Rs 2,500 crore to construct two lakh houses. Karnataka implements six affordable housing schemes - Basava Vasati Yojane, Dr BR Ambedkar Nivas Yojane, Devaraj Urs Yojane, Vajpayee Nagara Vasati Yojane, Pradhan Mantri Avas Yojana (PMAY) urban and rural.  

While the PMAY is centrally-sponsored, the other four are funded by the government. 

Officials say many projects remain non-starter or blocked due to the process in place to check irregularities. In November last, the government decided that all fund releases for housing projects will be done based on physical progress of construction as verified through the GPS-based Vigil app. This was done to prevent beneficiaries from misrepresenting the status of construction and claim funds.  

Till date, 60,401 homes have been brought under the Vigil app, of which 35,891 have been certified as eligible, officials said. 

Some five lakh homes have been blocked due to irregularities. Recently, the government decided to start unblocking them to allow the exact status of construction to be captured. 


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