As they await delayed PMAY subsidy, hundreds of beneficiaries compelled to stay in shanties or half-finished homes

Written by Atikh Rashid
| Parbhani |

October 9, 2020 11:03:56 pm

Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana, Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana scheme, PMAY scheme, PMAY, India news, Indian ExpressThe excessive demand for BLC, particularly in small cities and cities, is due to the comparative flexibility it provides to beneficiaries to assemble stand-alone homes on their very own plot.

Beneficiary led building (BLC), one of many 4 parts of the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (PMAY)– Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s flagship programme to assemble 1.12 crore inexpensive homes in city areas by 2022, when India will mark the 75th anniversary of its independence – has emerged as the preferred element of the scheme.

The excessive demand for BLC, particularly in small cities and cities, is due to the comparative flexibility it provides to beneficiaries to assemble stand-alone homes on their very own plot. The different three parts of the scheme are the Credit Linked Subsidy Scheme (CLSS), Affordable Housing in Partnership (AHP) and In-Situ Slum Rehabilitation (ISSR).

Under BLC, the central authorities supplies an help of Rs 1.5 lakh per beneficiary for building of a brand new home, with a carpet space not exceeding 30 sq. metres or enhancement of 9 sq. metres to an present home. Several states have additionally provided their very own monetary help to the scheme, with the Maharashtra authorities providing a further Rs 1 lakh per dwelling unit (DU).

The reputation of the scheme within the state might be gauged by the truth that 2.19 lakh DUs have been sanctioned underneath the scheme since 2016 underneath 350 city native our bodies (ULBs), together with municipal firms, municipal councils and nagar panchayats, until date.

But, of the two.19 lakh homes sanctioned underneath BLC between 2016 and 2019 in Maharashtra, solely 22,000 homes have been accomplished, practically 80,000 stay incomplete whereas work on the remainder of the items are but to start out. Thousands of beneficiaries, who’ve already began building work on their homes, await the discharge of subsequent instalment of the central subsidy, which has been delayed for months – in complete or partly.

The Covid-19 pandemic and the extended lockdown has solely made issues worse within the state as a lot of beneficiaries haven’t even been capable of increase their very own share of funds in direction of building of those homes. As a consequence, over 1 lakh beneficiaries within the state haven’t been capable of construct their housing items additional regardless of receipt of the primary few instalments of the subsidy.

The determined wait for brand new homes

Mukhtar Begam, a resident of Pathri, a city of about 40,000 residents in Parbhani district, is among the beneficiaries of PMAY.

It has been over eight months since her household moved right into a tin shed erected on an empty plot underneath high-tension electrical energy wires. After her home was sanctioned underneath PMAY final yr, the household dismantled the kuccha home to clear the plot and construct a brand new two-room home, with a kitchen and a rest room, as promised by the scheme.

The building progressed till the lintel-level, however then the cash ran out. The household has spent over Rs 2 lakh on the home, together with the Rs 1 lakh they obtained from the state authorities. Her husband is a woodcutter who earns Rs 300 on the times he manages to search out work. His earnings has dried up since March, when the nationwide lockdown got here into impact in India.

“He has to journey to chop bushes and throughout the lockdown, all of the travelling got here to a halt. We had been struggling to outlive,” mentioned Mukhtar Begum, who’s mom to 3 daughters and a son.

Monsoon has been particularly difficult for the household. While they’re used to a leaking roof, life in a makeshift shanty throughout heavy rain has posed some new and horrifying challenges. The overhead high-tension wires typically snap in robust winds and fall on the tin roof of her home, turning your complete tenement into an electrically-charged unit.

About 100 metres away, in Vilas Gople Nagar, Babarao Tambe says he regrets selecting PMAY over Ramai Awas Yojana, the Maharashtra authorities’s housing scheme for poor households from Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes, which additionally supplies a Rs 2.5 lakh subsidy for a brand new dwelling unit.

“My cousin had acquired a home sanctioned underneath Ramai Yojana on the similar time I acquired mine by means of PMAY. I’ve obtained Rs 1 lakh and spent Rs 3.6 lakh on the home. I needed to borrow Rs 2 lakh for this. My cousin has obtained Rs 2.5 lakh in subsidy and his home is prepared… he has to pay again a mortgage of about Rs 1 lakh. I’d have been higher off if I had utilized by means of that scheme,” mentioned Tambe.

Across Pathri, 1,153 DUs had been sanctioned underneath the scheme since 2018 and work began on 1,050 tenements between January 2019 and January 2020. As of October 5, solely 200 houses have been accomplished whereas 621 stay in numerous levels of incompletion. All these homes have obtained Rs 1 lakh in two instalments from the state authorities’s share — one in every of Rs 40,000 after which Rs 60,000 – and are awaiting additional funds to finish the work. About 250 have proven no progress.

In the neighbouring district of Hingoli, building of 1,098 homes was sanctioned and work orders had been issued in 951 circumstances. Of these, 448 DUs have been accomplished whereas 503 DUs are caught on the lintel stage. Even a lot of the beneficiaries who’ve accomplished their homes say they haven’t obtained central help.

On the delay in launch of central funds, Hingoli Municipal Council Chief Officer Ajay Kurwade mentioned, “We obtained Rs 11.33 crore from the state authorities and may have obtained Rs 16 crore from the central authorities… however have obtained solely Rs 35.four lakh (what does this imply?). Utilisation certificates of all of the funds have been submitted – not as soon as however 4 occasions – however additional funds haven’t been launched. In reality, for among the beneficiaries, we used unspent funds from the state authorities scheme.”

Local political leaders identified that the situation of these beneficiaries who had moved into rental lodging after dismantling their present houses — to assemble new and higher ones underneath PMAY – was probably the most determined.

“In Pathri, many beneficiaries are staying in rented homes and have spent a substantial quantity in lease. Due to the lengthy delay within the launch of third and fourth instalments of the central subsidy, many have now began to return to half-constructed homes by overlaying them with tin or plastic sheets, as a result of they will’t afford to pay lease anymore,” mentioned NCP chief from Pathri and MLC Abdullah Khan Durrani.

The excessive price of sand has additionally made it tough for poor households to complete the development on their very own, he added.

‘Utilisation certificates not submitted’

According to Dilip Muglikar, government engineer of the Maharashtra Housing and Area Development Authority (MHADA), which is the implementing company for PMAY within the state, the primary issue that has led to withholding of central help from the beneficiaries, whose work has progressed satisfactorily, is the failure of some city native our bodies to submit utilisation certificates (UC) of the central funds obtained by them.

“Funds from the sanctioned central subsidy are held up due to the problem of submission of the UCs. As per the rule, the state should submit UCs for no less than 70 per cent of the launched funds to hunt additional launch. Of the Rs 600 crore-odd central help launched to ULBs in Maharashtra, we’ve submitted to the Union Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs (MoHUA) UCs for under Rs 214 crore. Utilisation certificates for Rs 200 crore have been obtained from ULBs and can quickly be despatched to the Housing Ministry. Once the quantity crosses 70 per cent (about Rs 450 crore), our case to hunt the discharge of subsequent rounds of funds might be strengthened,” mentioned Muglikar.

He additionally mentioned that there was a chance that the beneficiaries might have spent the cash sanctioned by PMAY elsewhere. “The Covid-19 pandemic and the extended lockdown might have performed a task,” mentioned Muglikar.

When contacted, the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs didn’t present an official response. On situation of anonymity, a highly-placed officer mentioned that the Ministry was conscious of the problems being confronted within the implementation of BLC in Maharashtra and was taking pressing steps to resolve them.

“We are in common contact with MHADA officers and have now written to the state authorities. The challenge will not be brought on by a scarcity of funds. We are looking for submission of utilisation certificates and can quickly resolve the issue,” mentioned the MoHUA official.

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