Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana Scheme scheme through private agencies implemented by CIDCO

Annu Priya
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Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana Scheme scheme through private agencies implemented by CIDCO

CIDCO's outsourcing of marketing and allotment of mass houses under the PMAY scheme has come under scrutiny. Two private agencies were appointed by CIDCO to handle sales and promotions of affordable housing projects. The Navi Mumbai Congress Block unit has called for an inquiry into the process, claiming it is a major scam. The agencies have already been paid over ₹100 crore in advances, despite no sales having been made. CIDCO officials defend the appointment, stating it was necessary to meet the target of providing affordable housing.

CIDCO outsourcing work related to marketing and allotment of mass houses built under Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana Scheme (PMAY) has come under scanner. The development body last year has appointed two private agencies to look into the sales and promotions of affordable housing projects that have come up across areas like Taloja, Ulwe, Bhamandongri, dronagiri. Navi Mumbai Congress Block unit terming the whole exercise to be unwanted and waste of money and has sought from the chief minister Eknath Shinde an inquiry into the process
“The whole process is a major scam which amounts to nearly ₹700 crore as the agencies are to be paid ₹one lakh per house sold. For nearly 50 years since CIDCO has come into existence, its housing schemes have never needed any kind of promotions and with regard to sales those in need are always aware of the process. By constituting private agencies, how is CIDCO going to ensure that the housing meant for the economically poor will benefit needs to be ascertained,” said the Indian Trade Union Congress (INTUC) Navi Mumbai President, Ravindra Sawant.

The two agencies appointed on June 30 are Thoughtrains Private Limited and Heliomedium Bazar Private Limited. The agencies are required to look into the sales of 26,619 houses, 7,950 houses under low Income group, 33,096 flats and 6,52,500 square meters of commercial plots. “Even as not a single sale has been done, both the agencies have already paid two advances amounting to over ₹100 crore and all of these needs to be investigated,” said Sawant.

The issue was even taken up in the Vidhan Sabha by Congress leader Nana Patole. CIDCO senior officials maintain the appointment to be done after thinking about all the pros and cons. With over 1 lakh housing to be sold under the PMAY, officials related to the various hardships faced with regard to sale and even documentation process. The developing body is stated to have over years found it difficult to sell housing due to stringent criterias and documentations.

“There are numerous criteria and equally extensive documents to be processed with the sale of each house under the scheme. In 50 years, CIDCO has sold over 65,000 houses under Economically Weaker Sections (EWS category) whereas as per PMAY scheme nearly 1 lakh houses are to be sold in three years, it is not going to be possible for CIDCO to meet this target without adequate support system. Just by winning a lottery it doesn’t mean an individual becomes eligible for getting a house through PMAY. Appointing private agencies was done to streamline the process for both CIDCO as well as for those eligible,” said the official.

CIDCO Joint Managing Director Rajesh Patil stated the involvement of the agency is still being considered as there are a lot of changes happening in the PMAY scheme. “ The mass housing scheme undertaken by CIDCO is an ambitious project and to get it executed external expertise was necessary. The appointment of the agencies has been done after following the due process of calling for tender bids. However, the involvement of the agencies will be considered as per the need of the project. The ₹107 cr paid to the agencies was not an advance instead it was for the preliminary work undertaken with regards to setting up of helpline, call centres, coming with an advertisement and communication strategy to ensure that CIDCO meets the target of providing affordable housing and ,” said Patil.


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