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Housing for All: Beneficiaries in Punjab yet to receive funds

PM Awas Yojana: Nearly 1 lakh beneficiaries under central scheme; fund applications okayed more than a year ago.

punjab Updated: Mar 21, 2018 11:30 IST
Munieshwer A Sagar
Munieshwer A Sagar
Hindustan Times, Chandigarh
Housing for All,Beneficiaries in Punjab,PM Awas Yojana
Manjeet Kaur showing her under-construction house at Lohgarh village Zirakpur.(Sushil Prajapati/HT)

The BJP-led central government’s flagship scheme ‘Prime Minister Awas Yojana’ (PMAY) under the ‘Housing for All by 2022’ mission is faltering in Punjab with several beneficiaries under the ‘beneficiary-led component’ yet to receive funds more than a year after their applications were approved.

“I was to receive Rs 1.5 lakh in three construction-linked installments of Rs 50,000 each. I demolished my old kutcha house and completed plinth-level construction. But I am yet to receive the first installment. In the absence of funds, I had to leave the construction midway. Now, my family is living in a makeshift house,” said Davinder Singh (36), a daily wager from Zirakpur in Mohali.

Majority of the nearly 1 lakh beneficiaries under the scheme are facing the similar predicament. Manjeet Kaur (40), a single mother and a housemaid living in a kutcha house in Zirakpur, said, “We made a mistake by trusting the government. We didn’t have money to construct a house but with this scheme I hoped my children will get a permanent roof over their head. But, now, things have turned worse for us.”

Financial logjam

Urban local bodies (ULBs) are disbursing the funds to beneficiaries. “We wrote to the nodal agency for the transfer of funds but have not received these,” said Ludhiana municipal corporation commissioner Jaskiran Singh.

Amritsar MC commissioner Sonali Giri said, “We have not received any funds as yet and when we receive it we will transfer it to the verified beneficiaries.”

It is a completely centrally funded scheme. An official of the department of housing and urban development, who didn’t want to be named, said, “The central government has released funds partially (around Rs 50 crore) to the state of total of around Rs 90 crore. But, the state is yet to release the same to the nodal agency, Punjab Urban Development Authority (PUDA), under the scheme.

Yet to disburse received funds

PUDA has disbursed a part of funds to some ULBs. “PUDA has so far released Rs 15 crore of its own resources to the local government department for disbursement to some of the beneficiaries. Though, PUDA is yet to receive funds from the state treasury, we expect to receive the same in near future. The local government department will refund this amount once the full funds are released to them under the scheme. We also made a request to the Centre for the release of the rest of the amount,” said PUDA chief administrator Ravi Bhagat.

The Zirkapur municipal council (MC) is one of the ULBs to receive funds from PUDA around a month back but it is still to release the same to the beneficiaries.

“We received funds around 25 days back. But due to technical issues we have not been able to disburse the received funds to more than 200 beneficiaries in Zirakpur,” said Zirakpur MC executive officer Manveer Singh Gill.

First Published: Mar 21, 2018 11:29 IST