Two BHK scheme in CM’s adopted village killing neighbourly ties?
By P Hareesh/ P Krishna | Express News Service | Published: 17th July 2017 08:36 AM |
NARSANNAPET (SIDDIPET DISTRICT): Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao’s two bedroom houses for the houseless (2BHK) scheme is one of the TRS-ruled state government’s flagship initiatives. However, three years since the TRS came to power, out of 2.6 lakh houses promised, less than 1,000 have been constructed and handed over to beneficiaries, and only in the CM’s adopted villages of Narsannapet and Eravelli in Siddipet district. But even there, all is not well.
Take Narsannapet where a mass housewarming ceremony was held on December 23, 2016. Seven months later, the houses only seem to have driven apart some villagers. The reason? Narsannapet and Eravelli were the only villages where houses were not constructed on government land. Instead villagers who had land “voluntarily” handed it over in response to an appeal from KCR.
Ostensibly this was done to avoid a government-led land acquisition that may have delayed the project or run into troubles as has happened elsewhere. Villagers gave land on the understanding that the beneficiary — unlike elsewhere in the state — would pay an agreed upon amount for the land. This has not happened in Narsannapet. As a result, landowners have turned bitter and have taken to locking up the houses constructed on their land.
“What else can we do? We have lost valuable land but received nothing in return. The village committee is setting up deadlines for the beneficiaries to clear the dues but the latter are not paying the money,’’ Kanuganti Chandra Reddy, one of the villagers who gave up his land, said.
Chandra Reddy had 700 square yards of land in the village. He gave the land for construction of 2BHK houses and got one house under the scheme. One unit of 2BHK is constructed on 300 square yards (which includes road space). For the remaining 400 square yards, Chandra Reddy has to get money from his neighbour Embari Bhaskar.
“The village committee has arrived upon a figure (`600 per square yard) for the land we gave away. But the beneficiary is not giving the amount and some 12 days back, we put locks to the house and only after the intervention of the elders, we opened them. Today (July 12) was the deadline for payment of the amount but he has not given the money,’’ Chandra Reddy rued.
In the case of Komaraiah, four houses were constructed on his land and one allotted to him.
His wife A Laxmi Narsavva said, “If we would have constructed a house on that land, it would have been much bigger. They had promised to give the money, yet have not given a single paise.’’ So Komaraiah locked up the house of the beneficiary more than once.
Siddipet District Collector P Venkatram Reddy said he had heard about the goings-on in Narsannapet. “The beneficiaries have got the houses through government and no one is supposed to lock up the houses. I will personally visit the village,’’ he told Express. The village committee convenor and Narasannapet sarpanch G Balreddy said the 2BHK houses were constructed on about three acres of land. Each acre of land costs about `20 lakh.
“The village committee decided that some people have extra land and if they give that to the neighbour for construction of double bedroom, `600 per square yard will be paid for land utilised,’’ Balreddy said. According to sarpanch, about 30 such houses have been constructed in the village. Balreddy said the village committee was trying to get money from the beneficiary and give the same to the land owner.
Jagadevpur Zilla Panchayat member and village committee convener M Ramachandram said the village committee had passed a resolution to pay `600 per square yard for those who had given their lands for construction of houses.
“The committee decided to collect the money from beneficiaries and for that two people from every community had been appointed,’’ he said.
Meanwhile, locals allege since the housewarming, officials have stopped visiting the village. “They had dig a trench for the construction of compound wall at the time of housewarming but the pit was not filled. My daughter had fallen thrice in that trench. What should I do? We don’t have the happiness of having a new house. They had constructed a road on our land. They had constructed houses on our land and allotted to other people,’’ Chandra Reddy complained, asking if the state would construct 2BHK houses on the lands of the CM.