Pradhan Mantri Awaas Yojana-Gramin : Team finds irregularities in implementation of rural housing scheme in Odisha

Pradhan Mantri Awaas Yojana-Gramin : Team finds irregularities in implementation of rural housing scheme in Odisha

A Union rural development ministry team, which visited Odisha in February, has found irregularities in the selection of beneficiaries and quality of construction under the Pradhan Mantri Awaas Yojana-Gramin (PMAY-G).

The team led by Gaya Prasad, the ministry’s deputy director-general, was sent for an inquiry after the state Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) alleged irregularities in the implementation of the scheme for concrete houses to every homeless poor in rural areas.

rural housing scheme in Odisha

The Awaas Soft portal showed the completion of the constructions of houses in some cases but that was not found to be the case on the ground. In other cases, houses were sanctioned to two members of a family. On several houses, PMAY-G logos were found to be missing.

In a letter to Odisha chief secretary Suresh Mohapatra, Union rural development secretary Narendra Nath Sinha has suggested the money sanctioned to ineligible beneficiaries be recovered and cases against government officials for the lapses. “Action may be initiated against the BDOs (block development officers) and other supervisors who inspected and certified the works. Issue show cause to the district officials for not taking action on the matter,” Sinha wrote in his letter, a copy of which HT has seen.

Mohapatra refused to comment on the letter. Ruling Biju Janata Dal (BJD) leaders said they were not aware of the letter and hence cannot comment.

Sinha wrote the quality of construction noticed during the inspections was very poor. “The state is requested to take measures to improve the quality of the houses that have been inspected during the Inquiry and bring them to a liveable standard. The state must improve the system of both quality monitoring and administrative supervision for bringing significant improvements in the quality of houses under construction and of those inspected during the inspection. The state is advised to make an assessment of the quality of all the houses constructed so far and take steps for improvement.”

The central team visited Odisha after a 67-year-old BJP leader in Cuttack was killed along with an associate allegedly by BJD workers in January for pointing to irregularities in the scheme.

In April, the Centre objected to the use of the logo of the state’s Biju Pucca Ghar Yojana on the PMAY-G houses.

BJP leader Lekhashree Samantsinghar said the central team has exposed the Odisha government’s “blatant corruption” in implementing PMAY. “From ghost beneficiaries to outright embezzlement, the list is long. Now BJD should not protect its leaders who are the conduits for such loot,” she said.

Source: https://www.hindustantimes.com

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