Get this: Five years ago, the Delhi government completed the construction of 14,000 houses meant for the economically weaker sections of the society. Today, the flats are still empty and show signs of wear and tear without any power or water supply facility in the complex.
Such is the state of the Rajiv Ratna Awas Yojna scheme which is meant to provide low-cost homes to eligible applicants. Due to ambiguity over the definition of EWS under which applicants will be eligible, the government has failed to allot the houses despite receiving thousands of applications over the years, an Indian Express report pointed out today.
Meanwhile, the CAG has also pointed out that the Delhi government and its associated civic bodies have not only failed on delivering requisite housing stock for the economically weaker sections but also fallen way short of the target of four lakh units under the first mission period of JNNURM.
In the run-up to the 2008 assembly polls, the Sheila Dikshit-led Congress government had promised thousands of houses for economically weaker sections and slum-dwellers. Of the promised 44,720 flats to be built under the JNNURM scheme, only 14,000 have actually been built with less than 100 beneficiaries.
According to the Indian Express report, in Ghoga near Bawana, Delhi State Industrial and Infrastructure Development Corporation (DSIIDC) completed the construction of 3,680 flats under the housing scheme.
But for the last five years, an empty colony continues to be guarded by watchmen while over four lakh slum dwellers who had filled in the forms under the Rajiv Ratan Awas Yojna continue to wait for their homes. And it is this very shortage of affordable housing that has led to rampant illegal construction by developers using cheap materials and shoddy methods in order to offer low-cost homes to low-paid workers by paying bribes to officials who then turn a blind eye.
However, with Assembly elections around the corner, the Delhi government now plans to allocate at least 7,000 EWS houses by the end of June and complete the remaining before September.
India's urban housing shortage is estimated at nearly 19 million. Of these, about 96 percent are in the economically weaker sections (EWS) or low income groups (LIG). Ironically, as many as 11 million houses (or more than 50 percent of housing shortage) - which accounts for around 10 percent of the country's housing stock - lies vacant, according to India's Census of 2011.
Updated Date: Dec 20, 2014 18:20 PM