6.6 lakh beneficiaries not identified under housing schemes: CAG

Unlikely to reach the goal of housing for all by 2022; Some benefits reached wrong people, reveals report
Representational Image. (Express illustration)
Representational Image. (Express illustration)

BENGALURU: A survey to assess the requirement of housing for urban poor was not effective, resulting in only 13.72 lakh beneficiaries being identified, instead of 20.35 lakh. The survey was also not completed within the cut-off date, while 49 per cent of beneficiaries were added subsequently, said the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) report tabled recently.

Only 3.43 lakh of 5.17 lakh approved beneficiaries for 2,472 projects were attached to the approved Approved Housing Partnership (AHP) and Beneficiary Led Construction (BLC) verticals. Since there was a validation gap using unique identification numbers, some beneficiaries drew multiple benefits under same/different verticals.

Actual benefits under AHP were extended to only 12 per cent of beneficiaries, while 44 per cent were not even part of the prospective beneficiary list, which allowed ineligible people to benefit.A joint inspection of constructed houses revealed that 41 per cent were high-cost, multi-storey buildings with a carpet area of over 30 sqm and did not fall within the limit of Rs 5 lakh prescribed per unit.

AHP projects faced a fund crunch as the central government withheld Rs 1,003.55 crore due to non-fulfilment of prescribed conditions by the state government and due to shortage in collection of beneficiary contribution and ULB share of Rs 8,360.78 crore. This led to the cancellation of AHP projects and lack of civic infrastructure to completed houses.

Only 14 per cent of houses taken up by the Karnataka Slum Development Board (KSDB) under AHP were constructed and the rest were taken up individually. These projects do not have water supply, underground drainage, roads, electricity etc..

The central government withheld the first instalment of Rs 569.56 crore under BLC projects due to a shortfall in attaching beneficiaries to projects. For Direct Benefit Transfer payments, the validation through Aadhaar was not done for payments of Rs 172.64 crore to 12,757 out of 62,648 BLC beneficiaries. The audit revealed double payments of Rs 1.30 crore in 111 cases.

Lapses in mandatory monitoring under the Credit Linked Subsidy Scheme (CLSS) resulted in 471 beneficiaries receiving benefits under BLC and AHP too. As of March 2021, projects were taken up for only 38 per cent (5,17,531 dwelling units) of beneficiaries under AHP and BLC. As against the approved 5,17,531 dwelling units (DUs), only 17 per cent were completed, 63 per cent were yet to be commenced and the remaining 20 per cent were ongoing. Chances of achieving the goal of ‘Housing for All’ by 2022 are remote.

The Khajane 2 project is yet to implement all the planned processes into the K2 application, which is yet to achieve all its intended objectives and outcomes even after more than a decade of its conception, as the intended modules were either not completed or put to use, stated the CAG report. The project was rolled out incrementally from 2015 to 2021, impacting the changeover from K1 to K2 and limiting the capability of K2. Though the revision of Financial Codes were envisaged as a preparatory activity, it was not completed. Tracking funds drawn on grant-in-aid bills was not facilitated as there was no provision of monitoring the submission of utilisation certificates.

“Go live” could not be declared due to delay in rolling out all the modules, and operation and maintenance were concurrently undertaken without modifying the agreement, it stated. The state government did not have adequate strategic control over K2 and the project was implemented around a work-flow engine proprietary to the system integrator, TCS. The project deviated from the agreed development model and timelines.

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