Jagan launches distribution of house sites for 31 lakh poor people, TDP says ‘total fraud’
Andhra Pradesh chief minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy on Friday vowed to fulfil his pre-election promise of providing housing-for-all in the next two-and-a-half years and ensure that every household in the state has a pucca (cemented) house.
Jagan was addressing the beneficiaries at the launch of his government’s much-publicised programme, Navaratnalu-Pedalandariki Illu (Nine jewels - housing for all the poor), of providing house sites to 31 lakh poor people at Komarigiri village of U-Kothapalli block of East Godavari district.
The distribution of house sites was originally scheduled to be held on March 25, coinciding with Ugadi festival, but had to be postponed due to nation-wide lockdown in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Subsequently, it had to face several legal hurdles in the land acquisition process. After being postponed for four times, the house sites’ distribution programme was scheduled for Friday, coinciding with Christmas and Vaikuntha Ekadasi festivals.
The chief minister also launched the programme of construction of 15.60 lakh houses in the first phase, besides the distribution of sale agreements for 2.60 lakh houses constructed during the previous regime.
Stating that the programme of house sites distribution would take place in the next 15 days in a festive atmosphere, Jagan said it was a historic moment in the lives of the poor people. “You are going to witness not just a few new houses but a set of new villages in the state,” he said.
The chief minister said the government would not wash off its hands with just distribution of house sites, but would also take up the responsibility of constructing pucca houses in the sites.
He suggested three options to the beneficiaries. According to the first option, the beneficiaries could construct new houses as per the design approved by the government, which would also provide necessary construction material free of cost and bear labour charges.
Under the second option, the beneficiaries could construct houses as per their own requirement and the government would extend financial assistance for purchasing the construction material. As per the third option, the government would construct the houses for the beneficiaries.
“Though the government proposed to allow the beneficiaries to mortgage the house for obtaining loan or sell it for their future needs, it is not a position to do because of legal problems,” he said.
The chief minister assured to see that the construction of houses would be completed across the state within the next two-and-a-half years. “If there are any eligible persons left uncovered under the programme, they could apply again and get the house sites,” he said.
Interestingly, the Komaragiri layout where he launched the programme has been named as ‘YS Jaganmohana Puram’ after the chief minister. Similarly, 17,000-odd layouts across the state where the house sites are being distributed would be named as “YSR Jagananna Colonies,” an official note said.
Under the scheme, a house site patta (sash) is being given to the beneficiaries at a nominal rate of Re one and will be registered in the name of a women’s household. All the beneficiaries will be given either 1.5 cents in rural areas or one cent in urban areas.
Meanwhile, opposition Telugu Desam Party described the house sites distribution programme as “100 per cent fraud.”
TDP state unit president K Atchan Naidu said field-level verifications revealed that 70 per cent of these house sites were already in possession of the poor people, while the remaining 30 per cent house sites were given in either burial grounds, on hilltops or in low-lying flood-prone places.
“Jagan is now just giving ‘possession certificates’ again only to make wrong claims for political mileage,” Atchan Naidu said and demanded a CBI probe into the house sites scam as it involved massive corruption to the tune of Rs 4,000 crore in land acquisition.