THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Francis (name changed), a 65-year-old PMAY (Pradhan Manthri Awas Yojana) beneficiary from Poonthura, has been running from pillar to post to get a TC number for his home.
"All I needed was a home. I constructed the home in a small plot of land under PMAY. I received close to Rs 3.5 lakh of the total Rs 4 lakh as part of the scheme. When I approached the authorities for the last installment, they said I have to produce a TC number. I have been trying to be assigned a number for the past eight months," said Francis.
He alleged that there are agents working on behalf of the corporation collecting bribes. "The officer who came to inspect my home did not follow due procedure because I refused to bribe him. So they sent my file to the adalat," says Francis, who is one among the hundreds of complainants who arrived at the redressal session on Thursday.
Another native from Sreekaryam, who was at the adalat, alleged that he was asked to pay a bribe of Rs 2 lakh for being alloted a TC number. "I own a patch of land which is about four cents. Unfortunately, it’s sandwiched between the road and a stream. I constructed the house after leaving four metres from the road and now the officials say that the building is close to the stream and is violating the norms," said the complainant, who didn’t want to reveal his name.
Santha, a daily wage worker from Nettayam, had to forgo her day’s pay to attend the adalat in order to get approval for her dream home. "I am a widow, I have to take care of three children. I have land measuring close to four cents which is inclined. Despite being sanctioned Rs 4 lakh under PMAY, the town planning authorities are refusing to give approval for construction claiming that without a retaining wall, clearance cannot be given. I don’t have the financial capacity to construct the wall," says Santha.
"I am currently living in a rented home, struggling to pay the rent and cover the expenses of my children. My eldest son, who is supposed to be at college, is doing odd jobs to support me. I just want my children to have a roof over their head," adds Santha.
Mayor K Sreekumar admitted that there is widespread corruption and adalats would help mitigate such illegal activities from happening. “What we should understand is that violation is the starting point of corruption. People violate rules thinking they can get away by bribing officials. This has to stop,” said the Mayor.
Of the total 273 complaints received, 254 were settled at the adalat from 9am to 5pm on Thursday, majority of them were related to acquiring TC numbers and occupancy certificate. "All the Life Mission beneficiaries who sought redressal at the adalat were given occupancy certificates," the Mayor added.