Education minister says Odisha must ensure people get PMAY-G houses
BHUBANESWAR: Amid allegations of irregularities in allotment of houses under Pradhan Mantri Awaas Yojana-Gramin (PMAY-G), Union education minister Dharmendra Pradhan here on Friday said the state government must take responsibility to ensure eligible beneficiaries get the houses.
Interacting with reporters on the sidelines of an event in the city, Dharmendra said the state government should be thankful to Prime Minister Narendra Modi for relaxing norms for Odisha so that eligible beneficiaries in the state are not left out.
He was referring to the Union rural development ministry allowing the state to enter data of 9.5 lakh new beneficiaries in the Awaas Plus portal, where the waiting list of eligible beneficiaries are made, in November last year after the portal was closed in 2019.
“The government now must maintain transparency and integrity in the selection process. At a meeting in Delhi, the state government had agreed to give houses to eligible beneficiaries,” the Union minister said.
Responding to Dharmendra, BJD MLA Soumya Ranjan Patnaik said the state also wants only deserving people get the housing benefits. If there is any mistake anywhere, the same would be corrected in the scrutiny process, he said.
The state government on Monday published a provisional list of 9.59 lakh housing beneficiaries for public scrutiny by January 24 after which the list will be finalised and houses sanctioned to them under PMAY-Gramin. The state BJP has alleged massive irregularities in the list.
The 9.59 lakh houses sanctioned include 8.17 lakh for eligible beneficiaries who were in the waiting list and 1.42 lakh for families whose houses were damaged by cyclone Fani in 2019.
The BJP has alleged that more than 1.5 lakh deserving beneficiaries have been left out in the draft list published by the state government while many names have been included under political consideration.
Union minister of state for rural development Sadhvi Niranjan Jyoti had told Lok Sabha last month that the Centre had already sanctioned houses for 18.36 lakh of the 32.36 lakh eligible beneficiaries in Odisha. Of those, construction is over in 17.13 lakh houses.