Deadline nears, housing scheme for urban poor yet to take off
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The Akhilesh Yadav government had made a provision of Rs 100 crore in the 2012-13 budget under the Aasra scheme for building 4,000 houses for the urban poor in the current financial year. The fiscal year is coming to an end, but the scheme is yet to take off.
After the Assembly passed the budget in June 2012, the government took seven months to table the proposal — to give houses free of cost to the urban poor, with preference to minorities — before the Cabinet. The Cabinet approved the scheme on January 5 this year, after which the Urban Employment and Poverty Alleviation Department released detailed guidelines for implementation on January 16.
The government directed district magistrates and project officers of the District Urban Development Agency (DUDA) across the state to survey the availability of beneficiaries and land for construction of houses. District authorities have to send their reports to the State Urban Development Agency (SUDA). However, the government has not fixed any deadline for completing the survey.
For the survey, the district administration has to identify land in urban areas which can be available free of cost for houses to be constructed in G+2 (ground, first and second floor) units. The maximum construction cost of each of these units is estimated to be Rs 2.5 lakh.
Sources said the survey could take at least a month and construction is unlikely to begin this financial year.
"The biggest challenge in selection of land is that the site should be in area dominated by minorities and slums where there is no legal dispute," said an official.
In the past 15 days, only one district - Faizabad - has sent confirmation of availability of land for construction of 26 houses in Ayodhya.
"District officials received the guidelines late. We are hopeful that land will be available and construction will start very soon," said Shiva Shankar Singh, director of SUDA.