KCR to begin statewide tour

Will hand over nearly one lakh 2BHK houses constructed by the state government as part of \'dignity housing scheme\' to the poor

HYDERABAD: Chief Minister K. Chandrashekar Rao is learnt to have decided to undertake tours from June to hand over nearly one lakh 2BHK houses constructed by the state government as part of 'dignity housing scheme' to the poor in various districts. The Chief Minister returned to Pragathi Bhavan on Monday after a nearly three-week stay at his farmhouse in Erravelli on city outskirts since April 29.

Official sources said soon after his return, the Chief Minister held a review meeting with a few ministers and officials on pending projects and the issue of 2BHK houses came up for discussion.

The state government launched the dignity housing scheme for the poor in 2016-17 by spending nearly Rs 8 lakh on average on each house and decided to construct 2,91,057 2BHK houses for the poor covering all the Assembly constituencies. It allocated Rs 20,000 crore for this scheme.

However, the scheme got delayed due to various reasons like fund crunch and also contractors not willing to come forward to take up works citing the rates offered by the government were 'financially unviable' due to higher cement, sand prices etc. Later, the government offered them to provide cement, sand for lower prices than market prices by holding negotiations with cement companies.

Due to delay in works, only about 14,200 2BHK houses could be handed over to beneficiaries in the last five years. Although 1.12 lakh houses were completed so far, they could not be handed over to beneficiaries as there was a delay in selection of beneficiaries. While the applications received were in few thousands in each constituency, the houses sanctioned and constructed were in a few hundreds.

Another 1.02 lakh houses are nearing completion while the works of remaining 64,000 houses are yet to be grounded.

The state government sought Centre's funds under PM Awaas Yojana (rural and urban) for construction of houses. Since the Centre's scheme envisages construction of 1BHK house, the state government sought permission to construct 2BHK house by contributing additional
funds required on its own. However, the Centre laid down the condition that it would release funds only after the state government submitted the list of beneficiaries.

The only directed officials to expedite selection of beneficiaries and submit the list to the Centre to claim funds of up to Rs 1 lakh on each house.

This apart, the discussion on upcoming Rajya Sabha polls for three seats in Telangana reportedly took place in the meeting. The Chief Minister gave indications of announcing the TRS candidates for one bypoll seat scheduled for polling on May 30 in a day or two and for other two seats scheduled for polling on June 10, later.

The Chief Minister will hold a high-level review meeting on Palle Pragathi and Pattana Pragathi programmes at Pragathi Bhavan on Wednesday. The government decided to hold both these programmes from May 20 to June 5 aimed for the comprehensive development in rural and urban local bodies across the state.

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