BENGALURU: The Karnataka government is all set to build 60,000 houses for the urban poor across the state in the next one year under Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana that has been rechristened as ‘Chief Minister’s housing Project’.
In a clear move to dispel criticisms of the coalition government being biased against North Karnataka, Minister for Housing and Urban Development UT Khader said at least 22,000 houses under the scheme will be reserved for districts of North Karnataka.
The number announced, however, translates to just about 36.67 per cent of the project. At a time when various organisations from North Karnataka are demanding equal status and equal representation, the reservation gives way to more questions. The housing project is the first such launched after the coalition government has come to power. U T Khader, who was criticised by the BJP during Siddaramaiah’s regime for rehashing Ujwala Yojana to make it Anila Bhagya, has once again renamed a Central government scheme.
“Why should we not change the scheme’s name to Chief Minister’s Housing Scheme when the state government is contributing more towards the construction of houses,” U T Khader told The New Indian Express. He also pointed out the PMAY was, in fact, a rehashed version of Rajiv Gandhi Awas Yojana.
Under the Chief Minister’s Housing Scheme, the Union government and state governments will contribute 30 per cent each for construction of houses for the urban poor. “10 per cent will be borne by the beneficiary and another 30 per cent will come in the form of bank loans,” Khader said. The state government will also provide Rs 2 lakh while the Union government will provide Rs 1.5 lakh supporting fund for SC/ST applicants under the scheme. General category applicants will receive Rs 1.5 lakh funds from the state government and Rs 1.2 lakh funds from the Central government under the scheme.
The minister assured to hand over houses for beneficiaries within a month of project completion and a deadline of one year has been set for the same. Tenders for construction have been completed and construction will begin shortly, the minister said. In an earlier interview to the New Indian Express, U T Khader had said that SC/ST applicants will not have to go through scrutiny and selection process at the panchayat levels. While the government is still in the process of setting up a software that will allow online submission and clearance of application for SC/ST applicants, the process will only begin in the next phase of housing projects.