BHUBANESWAR:Even as the State Government has set a target to construct at least five lakh pucca houses under rural housing schemes each year in next four years, it has no credible information about the number of houses remaining incomplete.
“No credible information was available on number of incomplete houses in the State. Many work orders of previous years were pending for execution,” the State Government said in a report to the Ministry of Rural Development (MoRD).
The State’s performance in rural housing programmes under Indira Awas Yojana (IAY) and Biju Pucca Ghar Yojana (BPGY) was reviewed at a meeting of the performance review committee in New Delhi last week.
The State Government has admitted that a large number of houses sanctioned before the cost revision has remained incomplete due to enhanced cost of building materials.
While some beneficiaries attempted to construct bigger houses but failed to complete due to shortage of money, the report said there are many instances where beneficiaries have diverted the fund released for house construction towards other pressing needs like marriage and hospital expenditure.
As per the draft list of Socio Economic Caste Census (SECC) 2011, 23,40,900 of 86,22,827 rural households have kutcha houses. The State Government has sanctioned 6,66,280 houses during 2013-14 and 2015-16 under IAY and BPGY.
The Panchayati Raj Department has claimed that construction of 3.2 lakh houses under IAY and 30,000 houses under BPGY were completed in 2014-15 with an expenditure of Rs 1,365 crore.
The Department further claimed that 1.25 lak IAY houses and 25,000 BPGY houses have been completed in the first quarter of the current financial year.
In its poll promise, the ruling BJD had promised to convert all kutcha houses in rural areas to pucca houses by 2019. The Government had to ensure construction of over 4.18 lakh houses each year to achieve the target.
Meanwhile, the State Government has urged the Centre to revise the unit cost to at least Rs one lakh from the existing cost of Rs 70,000 to cover inflation and high labour cost. It has further suggested to provide separate fund for construction of individual household latrine rather than tagging it to Swachh Bharat Mission or MGNREGS.