In Karnataka, over 86,000 BPL families wait for payments under housing schemes | Bengaluru - Hindustan Times

In Karnataka, over 86,000 BPL families wait for payments under housing schemes

ByYamini C S | Edited by Chandrashekar Srinivasan
May 18, 2022 04:29 PM IST

Government Housing Schemes turn into financial traps for Below Poverty Line (BPL) citizens in Karnataka.Promised 100% compensation if they build pakka houses, but funds are yet to come.

An increasing number of farmers and BPL (below poverty line) card holders in Karnataka are falling into a debt trap after failing to receive compensation under various government schemes that promise payment after they build pakka houses with their own money. 

A half-way constructed house has been abandoned
A half-way constructed house has been abandoned

Over 86,000 people are yet to be paid back by the state government under schemes like the Basava Vasati Yojana, Dr BR Ambedkar Residential Project, Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojna (PMAY) and the Rajiv Gandhi Rural Housing Corporation Limited (RGRHCL).

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Beneficiaries under these schemes are promised 100 per cent of the cost of building a pakka house. Such schemes have implementation committees that employ inspection officers. These officers visit the beneficiaries to inspect the construction site and assess quality of materials used.

After inspecting the carpet area, lintels, doors, windows, cement, bricks and sand used, the officers determine if the building is pakka or kaccha, and the amount to be paid to the beneficiary.

Most pending payments are from Belagavi district, with 10,275 BPL card holders awaiting compensations, while the district with lowest pending payments is Kodagu, with 627 beneficiaries in the waiting list. Payments have been pending since July last year for 919 people in Bengaluru (Urban) district alone.

The table below shows the number of beneficiaries waiting to receive payments under housing schemes in the state -

DistrictNo. of Beneficiaries awaiting payments
Bangalore (Urban)919
Bangalore (Rural)756
Dakshina Kannada1653
Uttara Kannada3698

Sharanappa, an 18-year-old resident of Maski, a village in Raichur district, told Hindustan Times that his family built their home over four years ago but had not yet received payments under the concerned housing scheme. The only source of income for Sharanappa’s family is bajra farming.

"We put in money from our own pockets for building houses we can’t afford. We rely on the government to get the money back but it never comes. On top of that rain is a rarity in Maski, adding even more pressure on farmers to earn their livelihood," he said.

BPL card holders abort construction of their houses mid-way as funds don't come in.
BPL card holders abort construction of their houses mid-way as funds don't come in.

A panchayat development officer from Maski told Hindustan Times that funds have not been coming from the Basava Vasati Yojna and BR Ambedkar Yojna for at least six months now.

Families can choose to receive payments either via their Aadhaar card or directly into their account. However, nearly every delayed or failed payment is because beneficiaries' accounts are not linked to their Aadhaar number, according to data on the Ashraya Karnataka website.

Some people say they abandoned construction mid-way because of the lack of funds even after inspections from the implementation office.

Dream homes of several villagers lie abandoned as funds run out.
Dream homes of several villagers lie abandoned as funds run out.

Dr Aishwarya S, a political analyst said, "The government should have a common platform for all housing schemes. The problem arises when the central government has one scheme and the state has a different one. They don’t support one another’s schemes."

"Secondly, if Aadhar mapping is not the most efficient method, banks should be more cooperative with these people as they don’t do many transactions daily. If the government wants to encourage citizens to use banks, they should make the process user-friendly. It’s a collective effort. Only then we can hold people accountable," she added.

The zila panchayat member of a village in northern Karnataka has sent letters to the state government about funds not reaching households that have applied under the various schemes but no action has been taken so far.

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