NEW DELHI: The slow progress of the Modi government’s flagship schemes Swachh Bharat Mission (SBM), Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (PMAY) and Smart City Mission (SCM) due to meagre allocation of Central funds for these programmes, has come under severe criticism from the Standing Committee on Urban Development.
“It is a matter of serious concern that the flagship programmes, which are widely publicised as touching and transforming the lives of the majority in the country, are sidelined,” the committee said.
On the SCM, it said various issues like the ground reality of work done under the Mission being different from the claims made by the government came up before it. The panel found that in spite of available mechanism, complaints about poor work under the mission were still pouring.
When it came to toilet construction under SBM, 43,22,776 of the targeted 66,42,220 individual household toilets were built.
“At the current pace, with just about 20 months left for the completion of the mission, the panel has doubts about the probability of achieving the physical targets by the government,” it said.
On declaring a large number of cities ODF, the panel pointed out that the local authorities and District Collectors generally hurriedly declare cities ODF to meet their targets and independent assessors rarely verify such claims.
“The committee has serious apprehensions that while chasing a deadline to declare the country ODF, the ground realities are being ignored.”
So far 2,148 cities and 12 states have been declared ODF under specific criteria for declaring so.
About the PMAY, it noted that “all is not well with the implementation of the scheme and the progress of PMAY has been disappointing.”
It has pointed out that as against an assessment of 120 lakh houses, to be made available by 2022, the actual houses sanctioned is 39.26 lakh as on February 2018, out of which only 25.04 lakh houses are either completed or are under construction.
Highlighting the shortage of funds, it said out of a total project cost of Rs 2.04 lakh crore and total Central share of `Rs 57,699 crore, just Rs 26,162 crore had been sanctioned for release.
Observations of the Standing Committee
Complaints about poor work under the Smart City Mission still pouring in Ground reality of work done under Smart Cities Mission different than being claimed Shortage of planners with Urban Local Bodies for executing the work Ground realities being ignored while chasing a deadline to declare the country ODF.