‘Fake beneficiaries’ rent out flats allocated under JNNURM plan, VMC starts crackdown

Nearly three years after they were allocated flats under the Centre's JNNURM scheme, thousands of beneficiaries have come under the scanner of the civic body. The Vadodara Municipal Corporation (VMC), which contributed 20% of the fund for the scheme, has started cracking down on what it calls "fake beneficiaries" of the housing scheme meant for displaced slum dwellers.

VMC officials said they received complaints that several flats allotted to the beneficiaries after scanning and lottery processes were rented out to non-beneficiaries. In many cases, beneficiaries already possessed flats other than the slum houses that were demolished, in which case they were not entitled for flats under the scheme.

Ten flats belonging to beneficiaries were sealed by the VMC officials in two housing colonies situated in Akota and Vasna-Bhayali Road areas on Friday. Officials said as many as 109 flats out of the 2,000 surveyed by a team formed by the VMC for the purpose were found to be rented out to non-beneficiaries. The civic body is now in the process of nullifying their allotment and taking back their possession.

"We have sealed 11 flats and are conducting further surveys to find if there are more such cases. We are also preparing to take action against those who rented out their flats to a third party," VMC executive engineer, JNNURM projects, F J Charpot said.

Beneficiaries are relocated to flats constructed under the scheme after the slum houses they previously stayed in are demolished to make city slum-free. As per the slum policy, the beneficiaries are not allowed to rent out their flats to a third party. It also requires that the beneficiaries do not possess a separate house anywhere else in the city. There are at least 61,000 families in Vadodara who live in slums across 397 pockets.

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