BALASORE: Only 4,503 houses have been completed in 12 blocks of the coastal district under the Indira Awas Yojana (IAY) in the last 12 years. As many as 34,269 houses were sanctioned under the scheme during the period.
Worse, the district will not be getting any Central funds this year for IAY as it has failed to utilise money sanctioned under the scheme in the past.
According to official reports, 922 houses were sanctioned for Balasore district in 2001-02 followed by 887 in 2002-03, 751 in 2003-04, 877 in 2004-05, 1341 in 2005-06, 1935 in 2006-07, 3150 in 2007-08, 3455 in 2008-09, 2826 in 2009-10, 5174 in 2010-11, 4295 in 2011-12 and 8656 in 2012-13.
While the district administration has allotted highest 7,720 houses to Nilagiri block, Baliapal got only 384 houses. Similarly, Sadar block was sanctioned 5,842 houses, followed by Jaleswar 3,007, Basta 2,073, Bhogarai 1,610, Remuna 2,434, Bahanaga 3,056, Soro 1,673, Simulia 2,505, Khaira 2,507 and Oupada 1,458.
Under the scheme, financial assistance of `70,000 in plain areas and `75,000 in difficult areas (high land) is provided for construction of each house since 2013.
According to sources, block administration failed to sanction funds to the beneficiaries due to interference of politicians.
Besides, the beneficiaries alleged that officials concerned were demanding bribe to issue work orders. A beneficiary, Prahallad Mahalik of Talapada village under Remuna block said though his name has been listed for the last two years, the block administration is yet to issue work order. “I have approached the officials several times, but in vain. They are demanding money to issue the work order,” he alleged.
Admitting to the lapses, Project Director of DRDA AA Khan blamed the block administration for non-utilisation of funds. He said the BDOs have been asked to achieve the target by March-end.