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Work on houses under Indira Awaas Yojana yet to be completed

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A Chitra, a resident, said she was overjoyed at the very thought of shifting to a concrete house from her dilapidated hut and that the excitement had faded over the years.

The residents of Badrakaliamman Colony in Anaimalai taluk were an excited lot when they were allotted concrete houses under the Indira Awaas Yojana in two phases in 2015 and 2016. Years later, they still live in their huts, as construction of their new houses are yet to be completed.

A Chitra, a resident, said she was overjoyed at the very thought of shifting to a concrete house from her dilapidated hut and that the excitement had faded over the years.

Sanctioned in 2015, the contract to construct the house was given to a contractor, who was recommended by Thatthur panchayat. Almost four years have lapsed, but the contractor has constructed only a single-storeyed structure without any compartment and toilet.

“It took them four years to construct a single structure and fix doors and a window. We have been asking them to construct at least a wall across the house to separate kitchen from the living room. We don’t know how long it would take them to do that,” Chitra said.

She said she had quit her job, which earned her nearly Rs 300 a day, to work along with the contractor to build the house. “Wage for working at the construction site is credited under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act and the mason takes it directly,” Chitra said.

To speed up the work, she said, they had hired one or two labourers at Rs 500 each a day. “The mason won’t turn up for work every day. So, the work is delayed.”

The hut she and her family live in is in a dilapidated condition. During the rain, water leaks through the roof. Rainwater also enters the hut through entrance, as there is no place for it to drain. The story isn’t different for other residents in the area. The residents continue to defecate in open, as they don’t have toilets.

A source said a total of 40 houses were sanctioned in the village under the Indira Awaas Yojana. “While 17 houses were sanctioned in 2015, the remaining were allotted in 2016.”

Like Chitra, others are also waiting for the new houses, the construction of which is progressing at a snail’s pace.

After witnessing the plight of Chitra and her neighbours, a couple of residents had hired their own masons. “The masons, who are recommended by the panchayat, are not regular at work. In most cases, they leave before completing the entire work. So, we hired our own mason and designed the house. We commenced the work a year ago and have already constructed two rooms,” said M Sumathi, 42, another resident.

Thatthur panchayat officials were, however, not available for a comment.

The Indira Awaas Yojana, now renamed as Pradhan Mantri Gramin Awaas Yojana, is a social welfare flagship programme to provide financial assistance to construct houses to below poverty line people in rural parts of the country. Under the programme, the beneficiaries are given a sum of Rs 1.70 lakh each in several instalments.

Source : TNN 

(The story has been published from a wire feed without any modifications to the text)

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