MANASH PRATIM DUTTA
GUWAHATI, Feb 12 - Implementation of the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (PMAY) in Guwahati has remained paralysed for several months due to lack of fund and manpower. According to sources, this situation has been continuing for the last one year with only one fourth grade employee available to assist beneficiaries at the Guwahati Municipal Corporation’s (GMC) Lakhtokia office.
Earlier in Guwahati altogether 14 persons were there to help in implementation of the scheme. Among them 10 were contractual data entry operators, who have remained ‘out of duty’ from the first half of last year as they have not received their salaries for months together.
According to sources, even the Slum Development Officer posted at the Lakhtokia office resigned from the job in mid-2018 for not receiving salary for many months. Later three other employees were transferred to other offices.
Sources further revealed that to implement the PMAY, only once during 2016-17 some fund was allotted to this office, which has proved grossly inadequate to carry the office work forward.
In Guwahati, officials concerned had collected altogether 36,794 forms from beneficiaries and among them a list of 200 beneficiaries had been finalised, sources stated.
According to sources, altogether 1,380 forms had been collected from beneficiaries under the ‘Beneficiary Led Construction’ (for myadi patta land) component of the PMAY in which a beneficiary can avail the benefits of the scheme for new construction and enhancement of the existing house.
Altogether 3,548 forms had been collected under the ‘Beneficiary Led Construction’ (for eksona or dakhali or grazin or khas land) component and 2,350 forms had been collected under the ‘Beneficiary Led Enhancement’ component under which people living in adequate pucca houses can enhance their houses by building rooms, toilets and kitchens. Altogether 26,981 forms had been collected under the ‘Affordable Housing in Partnership’ component, while 1,068 forms had been collected under the ‘Credit Linked Subsidy Scheme’ component and a total of 1,467 forms had been collected under the ‘In-situ Slum Redevelopment’ component.
In order to implement the scheme under which homeless citizens, poor urban people and citizens belonging to economically weaker section and low income group categories will get the benefit, a demand survey for preparation of the ‘housing for all plan of action’ was carried out in Guwahati and a total of 56,656 beneficiaries had been identified within GMC area.
The demand survey was carried out by NGOs empanelled to GMC for solid waste management in association with the councillors and the Area Sabha members. The report was already prepared and submitted to the Central government.
According to GMC officials in Guwahati, PMAY seeks to address the housing requirement of urban poor including slum dwellers through rehabilitation of slum dwellers with participation of private developers using land as a resource, promotion of affordable housing for weaker section through credit linked subsidy, affordable housing in partnership with public and private sectors and subsidy for beneficiary-led individual house construction.
Reacting to the current situation of uncertainty prevailing vis-a-vis the scheme, higher officials of GMC told The Assam Tribune that they have already written to the Mission Director of PMAY in Assam a number of times to take action, but to no avail.
Meanwhile, this correspondent failed to get any response from Dr Sadnek Singh, the Mission Director of PMAY in Assam when he called the latter for his opinion on the issue.