Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ambitious plan to provide affordable houses for the urban poor under the flagship programme, Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (Urban), has failed to take off in Maharashtra in a real sense owing to procedural wrangles and non-availability of land. As per the data tabled in Parliament, of the 82,048 houses built in 30 states, only 5,506 houses were constructed in Maharashtra against 25,873 in Gujarat.
When information on the present status of the programme, which was launched in 2015, was sought in Rajya Sabha, minister for housing and urban poverty alleviation M Venkaiah Naidu disclosed that Gujarat is far ahead of other states—32% of the total 82,048 affordable houses were built there. .
In a written reply, Naidu said, Gujarat is followed by Rajasthan with 10,805 houses, Karnataka 10,447, Tamil Nadu 6,940 and Maharashtra 5,506. City-wise, Ahmedabad led others with construction of 10,183 houses, followed by Jaipur 7,434, Surat 5,216 and Rajkot 3,817.
PMAY beneficiaries belong to economically weaker sections, low- and middle-income groups. Central assistance of up to Rs 1 lakh is provided for each dwelling unit to be built for the benefit of slum dwellers using land as resource thereby slumdwellers getting new pucca houses for free. Central assistance of Rs 1.5 lakh/beneficiary is provided under different components. During the last three years, 3.55 lakh affordable houses have been construted for urban poor.
A day after Naidu’s reply in Rajya Sabha, chief minister Devendra Fadnavis presided over a special meeting to review the status of PMAY. He asked all divisional commissioners, district collectors and civic chiefs, via video conference, to complete the process of land acquisition, tendering and administrative approvals for the scheme in a time-bound period. “CM has asked collectors and civic chiefs of 142 cities to submit at least two proposals within a month. Collectors have been asked to clear the land proposals as early as possible,” a senior bureaucrat told TOI.
The bureaucrat admitted that owing to procedural wrangles and non-availability of lands, there was a delay in execution of key projects in major cities. “Following CM’s intervention, we expect to complete the target in a time-bound period.”
The bureaucrat said in April, work for construction of 42,000 houses will be taken up on a war footing, while a proposal for construction of 1.1 lakh houses is in pipeline and the housing department will take up proposal of construction of additional two lakh houses in the current year. “We are determined to build 20 lakh affordable houses by the end of 2022,” he said.
SOURCE – PRESS TRUST OF INDIA