From pucca to kutcha, Odisha CM Naveen Patnaik to go all out

A pucca house for every family was an election promise of the BJD in the 2014 election, and its manifesto vowed to provide assistance to people if they opt to convert their kutcha house into pucca.

Published: 03rd July 2017 10:23 PM  |   Last Updated: 03rd July 2017 10:23 PM   |  A+A-

Odisha CM Naveen Patnaik (File | PTI)

By Express News Service

BHUBANESWAR: While the Congress and the BJP are jeering from the sidelines about chief minister Naveen Patnaik’s fiat to officials to stop the 'PC' culture forthwith, the government has decided to launch a campaign to rev up implementation of the scheme to convert kutcha houses into pucca.

In Odisha, ‘PC’ is short for ‘percentage cut’, the alleged practice of officials taking a cut from benefits rightfully due to a citizen.

A pucca house for every family was an election promise of the Biju Janata Dal (BJD) in the 2014 election. Its manifesto vowed to provide assistance to people if they opt to convert their kutcha house into pucca.

However, implementation of the scheme has not been satisfactory. A large number of complaints have arisen about bogus beneficiaries who have the support of local political leaders.

Official sources said about one lakh such or similar objections have been received so far. The state government has decided to inquire into them within a month and take steps to correct the situation.

The state government has also decided to impart some transparency to the scheme. District administrations have been asked to highlight the fact that selection of beneficiaries is being done in order of priority as per the finalised list and that there is no scope for manipulation.

Accordingly, a publicity campaign has been rigged up. It will include mike announcements, wall paintings, print/electronic/print media content and events like Awaas Diwas and Gaon Sampark Sibirs.

Besides, if there is any delay in construction or deliberate mismanagement by officials, beneficiaries can upload pictures of their half-done houses on the mobile app Awaassoft.

According to official sources, more than 11.5 lakh kutcha houses have been converted to pucca during the last three years. The list of households eligible for the scheme has already been posted up at gram panchayat offices, anganwadi centres, school buildings and other prominent places in villages.

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