Pilot project offering housing to disabled to be rolled out in Pune

Free housing for 54 beneficiaries in 13 taluks of the district, project later to be replicated in the state.

In a welcome move, Pune district will roll out a pilot project to provide free housing for the differently abled. The district administration will construct 279 sq feet built up area dwellings in all the 13 taluks in the district. With the administration having allocated Rs 37.50 lakh from the Pune Zilla Parishad's fund, the scheme is to benefit 54 beneficiaries in the pilot project. The meeting for the same will be held on Tuesday.

According to officials, the scheme will be applicable for persons with 40 per cent disability and an annual income less than Rs 50,000. "We have called in for names for the proposal and have discussed with architects for readying the houses which will be disabled-friendly. The housing will be similar to those provided in the Indira Awas Yojana but will be specially designed with ramps and disabled friendly toilets and rooms. We have taken in technical inputs and the blue print for the same is ready,'' said district disability officer Sanjay Kadam.

According to disability commissionerate officials, the project would make for replication of the project in the state. "Pune would start the project and it would be replicated in other parts of the state,'' said the officials. While the project looks at only four houses per taluk, officials are hoping for more funds so that they can increase the project for more persons. The project will start in Haveli taluk and then replicated in all other taluks.

Sandesh Naik, a 34-year-old differently abled person who had recently attended a job fair conducted by the department, has forwarded his application for the project and is hopeful that he can be a part of the pilot project. "This is a good initiative. We face lot of problems in getting loans as our salaries are very poor. We are dependent on our parents and a shelter is a welcome move,'' said Naik. Archana Kadam, 29-year-old who stays with her parents in a rented house, also hopes to get a dwelling under this scheme. "I run a telephone booth and have income less than 50,000 annually. I do fit in the criteria. This is a novel project and it will be a big help for my family,'' she said.

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