HYDERABAD: The Forum for Good Governance has asked the state government to leave selection of beneficiaries of its 2-bedroom housing scheme to grama sabhas, and suggested that ministers and legislators be involved in the exercise in order to avoid nepotism and corruption.
Saying that the guidelines issued by the government to district collectors for selecting beneficiaries are defective, forum secretary M Padmanabha Reddy said at a press conference here on Friday, “The guidelines issued by the state are defective and lack clarity. They may lead to nepotism, corruption and heavy burden on the state. Also, they did not learn anything from their previous mistakes. The Indiramma housing programme suffered due to political interference i.e. MLAs/ministers, instead of grama sabhas, selecting beneficiaries. The government is repeating the mistake now.”
According to the guidelines issued by the government, the district minister or MLA of the respective Assembly constituency will sanction the flats in 50:50 ratio and furnish the list of eligible beneficiaries to the district collector. The sanctioned list of beneficiaries shall be verified by the tahasildar and placed before the grama sabha/ward sabha. The grama sabha will then verify the eligibility and forward the list to the district collector.
Reddy said, “The guidelines are silent on the action to be taken by tahasildar/grama sabha in case ineligible persons are included in the sanctioned list. As a matter of fact, once a minister or MLA has sanctioned the list at the initial stage, which tahasildar will have the courage to differ? Verification is a mere formality to show that selection is done in a transparent way but, in practice, the MLA/minister is bound to sanction the houses only to their party workers.”
The forum suggested that the MLA be asked to select a village where the programme was to be grounded and leave the rest of the procedure to the grama sabhas.
“According to a recent survey, there are about 10 lakh homeless families in Telangana. To provide housing to these families, `60,000 crore will be required, which is beyond the means of state government.”
The forum suggested to the state to link this programme to Union government’s programme of housing for all in which `1 lakh subsidy on each house is provided. It also said that the unit cost of a house should be raised from `6 lakh to `10.8 lakh.
“Beneficiary should be involved right from beginning in ensuring quality control and quick completion of work,” said Rao Chelikani, vice-president of the forum.