KCR spends Rs 50 crore for bungalow, but housing for poor still a dream
Telangana chief minister K Chandrasekhar Rao moved into his Rs 50-crore dream home on Thursday, with priests chanting Vedic hymns to ward off evil spirits and police hustling out protesters outside.india Updated: Nov 25, 2016 07:51 IST
Telangana chief minister K Chandrasekhar Rao moved into his Rs 50-crore dream home on Thursday, with priests chanting Vedic hymns to ward off evil spirits and police hustling out protesters outside.
Rao, popular as KCR, entered the new palatial residence-cum-official complex at Begumpet but his much-hyped scheme to build 272,000 two-bedroom houses for the poor remained a distant dream.
The 100,000-square-feet bungalow was built on a nine-acre plot and is equipped with all modern, hi-tech facilities, including bullet-proof glass in the official chambers and home of the chief minister and his son, KTR.
Unconfirmed reports say even bathroom windows have bullet-proof glass to avert sniper attacks.
When the priests were performing religious rituals, police quietly took into custody several activists of the Telugu Nadu Students Federation, who were planning a protest against “criminal wastage of public money for satisfying the Vaastu craze of the chief minister”.
The state roads and buildings department funded the entire complex and it took around eight months for the builder — Mumbai-based Shapoorji-Pallonji — to build the sprawling complex.
The department, however, is starved of funds to take up the double-bedroom housing scheme for the poor. The target was to build houses for the poor by 2017 with a budget of Rs 17,200 crore.
In 2016-17 state budget, the government allocated Rs 529 crore, though finance minister Etela Rajender said administrative sanction had been given for 60,000 houses at an estimated cost of Rs 3,300 crore.
Independent inquiries revealed not even 10% of the houses were built so far. The construction cost for each house was fixed at Rs 5.04 lakh in rural areas, Rs 5.30 lakh in urban areas and Rs 7.9 lakh in Hyderabad.
Opposition parties are now finding fault with KCR for ignoring the housing scheme, but spending on his posh bungalow.
Mohammad Ali Shabbir, leader of the opposition in the Telangana legislative council, said: “It is morally incorrect and insensitive on the part of the chief minister, when the poor are looking up to him to provide a roof over their head,” he said.