BHUBANESWAR, Aug 26
The State Government, which has made ‘central neglect’ its signature tune, has failed abysmally in meeting the target for construction of houses under the Indira Awas Yojana (IAY) in the state with a mere seven per cent achievement in the first four month of the current financial year.
According to sources, construction of only 21,289 houses has been completed under the centrally sponsored scheme as against the annual target of 2, 93,522 houses. The performance of Jagatsinghpur and Mayurbhanj districts in particular has been dismal with not a single house completed in the two districts during the period. The Government has sanctioned 22,223 and 17,394 units for Jagatsinghpur and Mayurbhanj districts respectively. While 5,318 and 5,358 beneficiaries of the two districts have taken up construction of their houses under the scheme, none of them has completed it.
The latest report submitted by the state government to the Centre stated that about 1.13 lakh houses are in different stages of construction. Of the completed housing units, 7,275 beneficiaries belong to scheduled castes (SCs) while 5,221 beneficiaries belong to scheduled tribes (STs) and 795 to minorities. With a carryover of more than 1.26 lakh housing units, the annual target of the Government was to construct 1.28 lakh houses.
Physical achievement is only one per cent of the target in Malkangiri, two per cent in Boudh, three per cent in Kandhamal, Koraput and Sundargarh districts, four per cent in Dhenkanal, five per cent in Nabarangpur and six per cent in Sambalpur district. Sonepur, Keonjhar, Bhadrak and Bargarh, however, have performed reasonably well with an achievement of more than 12 per cent. Sonepur has topped the list with 24 per cent achievement by completing 625 of the 2,557 houses sanctioned.
With an outstanding balance of Rs 150.75 crore, the total availability of funds under IAY scheme was Rs 491.73 crore. However, the State has utilised just Rs 71.66 crore till the end of July, which is 15 per cent of the total funds available.
Last year, the Centre sanctioned funds for nearly one lakh houses for people enjoying land rights under the Forest Rights Act (FRA). The Ministry of Rural Development sanctioned Rs 362.52 crore as additional assistance towards the Central share and released Rs 181.12 crore as the first instalment.
But the State Government has been able to utilise barely Rs 79 crore, a mere six per cent of the funds available with the Department for construction of 325 houses.