Doorstep check for Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (urban) list

The state urban development department has directed the heads of 125 civic bodies across Bengal to visit beneficiaries enlisted for dwelling units under the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojna (urban) at their doorstep to ensure that no ineligible candidate stays on the PMAY list.

The directive gains significance amid the series of protests in villages of Bengal against the enrollment of names of reportedly ineligible candidates for the PMAY’s rural outreach, mostly led the Opposition parties to attack Bengal’s ruling Trinamul for alleged misuse of central funds.

“The chairpersons of the civic bodies has been asked to ensure that all beneficiaries in the list are eligible. The names and statuses of the beneficiaries will be verified physically after which a compilation report will be sent to the state urban development department,” said a senior official in Calcutta.
Doorstep check for Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojna
“A meeting was convened earlier this month when the civic body heads were asked to comply with the order as soon as possible, with a directive that there should be no glitches that would cast any shadow on the accountability of the state government with regard to the PMAY beneficiary list,” said a source.

“In the case of rural areas, during the recheck of PMAY beneficiaries, it was found that many ineligible candidates, including even those having two-storey pucca houses, were included. The embarrassment of the government was visible.... In the case of the PMAY in urban areas, the government is being careful from the start. It does not want to face any further controversy on its accountability in implementing central government schemes,” the source added.

The Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (Urban), which is also known as the Housing For All (HFA) project, is an affordable housing scheme for economically weaker sections (EWS) in civic areas.

Civic bodies are allotted Rs 3.68 lakh to construct each house with 30 square metre carpet area and basic amenities. The allotted amount is Rs 4.41 lakh per house for civic bodies in hilly areas.

The scheme was announced by the Narendra Modi government in 2015 with a target to provide houses to all poor families in urban areas of the country by 2022.

Of Rs 3.68 lakh per house, Rs 1.5 lakh comes from the Centre and Rs 1.93 lakh from the state. Each beneficiary also needs to contribute the remaining Rs 25,000. The money is disbursed directly to the beneficiary’s account in five installments.

In Bengal, 537 BLC (beneficiary-led individual house construction) projects have been taken up so far, comprising 4,91,586 dwelling units. Till date, 2,81,036 dwelling units have been sanctioned of which 1,67,873 have been completed and are occupied.

Sources said several civic bodies did the physical survey and decided to recheck the findings with the local councillors before sending the list to the State Urban Development Agency (SUDA).

“Field visits to recheck beneficiaries were over two days ago. Now we will sit with ground reports. We may crosscheck the beneficiaries’ status again if there is doubt. After a final verification, we will send it to Calcutta by the end of this month,” said Paresh Sarkar, chairman of Burdwan municipality in East Burdwan.

“Our survey is ongoing and will be over shortly. We have asked our councillors to inform us immediately if the name of any ineligible candidate comes to their notice,” said Soumen Bhakat, chairman of Birbhum’s Rampurhat municipality.

Sources said municipalities have also been asked to ensure that beneficiaries who got the first or second installment finish building their home ontime.


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