Chet Ram, a farm labourer in Shivpur-Fatuhi village in this border district, thought building a pucca house for his family of 10 would remain a pipe dream.
His savings amount to Rs 15,000. But a grant of Rs 50,000 from the government under its flagship housing scheme for the rural poor saw Ram move into a two-room tenement recently.
The Rajasthan government plans to finance the construction of such houses for 1.1 million below the poverty line (BPL) families in rural and tribal areas by 2014. Around 430,000 of these houses are being built under the centrally sponsored Indira Awas Yojana (IAY), while the remaining 670,000 will be constructed under the Chief Minister’s Rural BPL Housing Scheme, launched in June last year.
The opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has scoffed at the project. It said, “The new plan is no different from the Indira Awas Yojana and is an attempt by CM Ashok Gehlot to make political capital.”
According to the chief minister, however, the need for the scheme was felt because under the IAY it would have taken 22 years to provide shelter to all BPL families in the state.
The list of the eligible families is based on the BPL census, which pegs their number at 1.39 million. It could go up as fresh census data were being compiled, said RP Chaudhary, superintending engineer in the rural development department and officer in charge of monitoring the housing scheme.
The state government has taken a loan of Rs 3,400 crore from Housing and Urban Development Corporation Ltd (Hudco), a government-owned corporation, to provide Rs 50,000 to each scheduled caste family and families in the tribal sub-plan areas and Rs 45,000 for other eligible families.