New law to curb housing lapses

Representative image. (iStock photo)

The government has unearthed large-scale irregularities in various housing schemes, Housing Minister V Somanna revealed Wednesday, and said a new legislation might be introduced to prevent this going forward.  

The Housing Department detected fraudulent sanction of funds worth Rs 9.52 crore, recently. In cases detected at Chitradurga, Yadgir and Kalaburagi districts, Somanna said some beneficiaries, in collusion with officials, claimed bills for construction of the same house under different schemes causing losses to the exchequer.

Under the proposed legislation, any tinkering with the housing schemes will result in criminal cases against erring officials - revenue inspectors, panchayat development officers among others - and other individuals involved, Somanna said. Speaking at a news conference, he said that the new legislation will be finalised shortly. 

The government is also planning to merge multiple housing schemes in the state to avoid confusion and prevent misuse. Basava, Vajpayee and Devaraj Urs housing schemes will be merged soon. A decision is likely on the issue during the next Assembly session, he said. 

While sanctioning houses in rural areas, the department has decided that the decision by grama sabhas will not be final. “Local MLAs, deputy commissioners and tahsildars will also have a say in the selection of beneficiaries for housing schemes,” he added.

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