State built only 39% of JNNURM houses in 7 yrs, says Maken

Union Cabinet Minister for Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation Ajay Maken while addressing a press conference at the city headquarters of the Congress party on Saturday criticised the Narendra Modi government for building just 39% of the 1.39 lakh houses sanctioned in the state under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNURM) in the last seven years.

"When we saw the statistics of JNNURM and looked at Gujarat's performance, I felt Narendra Modi was toying with the hopes and aspirations of the poor people of the state. I want to tell you all that from 2005 to till date, the Centre has sanctioned construction of 1,39,490 houses for urban poor under JNNURM in Gujarat. Of this, only 55,399 houses have been allotted and occupied," he said.

"I was surprised to see the BJP manifesto, which promises to build 50 lakh houses in five years. A state government which has build just 55,399 houses in seven years, how can it say they build 50 lakh houses in five years," said Maken, adding that the Centre had already passed on 73% of the admissible grant of around Rs 1,200 crore meant for the 1.39 lakh houses to the state government.

He said even if land for promised 50 lakh houses were given free of cost, the state government would require at least Rs 2 lakh crore to build them. "Where is the money?" he said.

When asked how Congress plans to construct houses for the 70 lakh applicants under the "Ghar nu Ghar" scheme, he said the housing scheme is based on a three-pronged strategy, where loans for these houses will be made available through agencies like HUDCO.

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