Geo-tag manipulation leads to Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana fraud in Odisha

Surveyors and field level officials have been found providing false information on the construction of PMAY houses in collusion with beneficiaries for personal benefits in Jagatsinghpur district.

Published: 18th August 2019 10:31 AM  |   Last Updated: 18th August 2019 10:31 AM   |  A+A-


For representational purposes (Express Illustration)

Express News Service

JAGATSINGHPUR:  The move of the Central Government to check irregularities in the construction of houses under Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (PMAY) by implementing internet-based geo-tagging has failed to serve the purpose in the district. Surveyors and field level officials have been found providing false information on the construction of PMAY houses in collusion with beneficiaries for personal benefits. Due to the manipulation of geotagging data, hundreds of beneficiaries have received money without completion of PMAY houses.

As per guidelines, to avail benefits of PMAY, beneficiaries have to give information of the construction process in five phases. This data would be uploaded on Bhuvan web portal with the assistance of the supervisor. These five phases include ground level (land and foundation), plinth phase, lintel level phase, roof phase and completion phase. The payment would be made beneficiaries according to the phases. Beneficiaries who have completed construction of houses within four months will get an incentive of Rs 20,000. In the case of six months, the amount is Rs 10,000.

Executive Officer of Jagatsinghpur Municipality Baladev Behera said, “We have detected 12 cases where geotagging of beneficiaries was manipulated. Without completion of houses, 12 beneficiaries were selected to get Rs 20,000. These beneficiaries have been rejected. Show cause notice has also been issued to the surveyors for the fraud.”

Apart from Municipality areas, hundreds of beneficiaries in different blocks have also received money without completing their houses under PMAY. Sources said hundreds of poor people have been deprived of PMAY benefits while those having two-storey buildings have received financial assistance under the scheme.

Additional Project Director, Rural Housing, DRDA Sunanda Rout informed that out of 2,293 PMAY houses, construction of 1,608 was completed in 2018-19. Similarly, out of the target of 7,784, about 4,921 PMAY houses were sanctioned in 2019-20. However, the construction of not a single house has started. As many as 5,029 of the total houses have been geo-tagged in the district, she added.

Housing scheme

  • 2,293 PMAY houses targeted in 2018-19
  • 1,608 completed 
  • 7,784 targeted in 2019-20
  • 4,921 sanctioned 
  • 5,029 houses geo-tagged
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