THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The city corporation has decided to increase the number of PMAY-LIFE housing project beneficiaries per ward from seven to 16 after protests erupted against limiting the numbers.
The decision was taken at the all-party meeting on Tuesday which followed the emergency council meeting called on Monday to discuss the implementation of LIFE-PMAY housing schemes. The opposition councillors had been demanding houses for all the applicants. However, the corporation citing the financial limitations expressed its inability to do so but agreed to increase the number of beneficiaries to 16 which also include six beneficiaries who bought land through the project under various categories like SC/ST and homeless.
“We all want to give the homeless, homes. However, the corporation’s share is `2 lakh. Adding more beneficiaries will affect our financial stability. We have finished the verification of documents of seven each so far. Now with three more added to every ward, the verifications will have to be done,” said Mayor K Sreekumar. As of now, beneficiaries are being paid in 5 installments.
Each beneficiary of PMAY project of the central government would get `1.5 lakh to build a house. In Kerala, with the project now clubbed with LIFE project, the state government will add a share of `50,000 and the local body will give `2 lakh, taking the total sum provided to the beneficiary to `4 lakh.
Congress council party leader D Anil Kumar said: “Our intention is to ensure that all beneficiaries get the houses promised to them. It is high time we move past the bureaucratic nuances and go to the implementation. The increased numbers should prove a breather for at least a few families.”
M R Gopan, BJP council party leader said: “This is a victory of our protests with regard to PMAY-LIFE scheme. We wanted maximum people to benefit from the project. Now, the arguments with regard to financial constraints is not acceptable. They have already taken loan from HUDCO. The constraints are simply excuses.”