THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Government has once again extended the last date for publishing the final list of beneficiaries under Life Mission housing to April 30.
As per the latest order issued by the local self-government department (LSGD) on Friday, the finalization of the draft list (which was supposed to be published on Feb 28) has now been extended till April 16. With revised dates, the present delay in finalizing the list of beneficiaries is one year and seven months as the originally scheduled date was September 30, 2020.
The government received 9,20,260 applications under the Life project when it announced the second phase of the mission in July 2020. Among districts, Palakkad had received the most number of applications (1,36,228) followed by Thiruvananthapuram (1,16,763), Kollam (82,805) and Malappuram (82,441). The applications are categorized as homeless who have land in their name and those who are homeless and landless.
While Palakkad (99,758) received maximum applications from those with ‘own land claim minus homes’, the highest number of applications i.e. those without home and land came from Thiruvananthapuram (41,700). At the same time, Kasaragod (38,124) and Kannur (38,545) received the least number of applications in both categories put together.
Government started receiving applications from Jul 1, 2020 and the opposition has been citing that there is a delay in processing these applications. Government had informed the assembly on Nov 3 last year that it had completed 2,62,409 houses in the five years of the first LDF government under Pinarayi Vijayan and after being re-elected, it has completed 13,600 fresh houses, under Life Mission.
Local self-government minister MV Govindan had stated then that the work on 87,000 houses is progressing and would be completed by Mar 31. Government had also claimed that the delay was only regarding fresh applications and the ones that are ongoing will be completed on time.
Conflicts and the lack of proper coordination between government departments are being cited as the main reason for the inordinate delay in finalizing the list of beneficiaries, only after which the work on their homes can be initiated. The main reason cited by Life Mission officials is the lack of manpower for verifying applications.
Though LSGD had decided to utilize the services of agri department officials for the task, the department had on Nov 11 last year issued an order that its officials shouldn’t be utilized for any other work. But contradicting this decision amid the latest deadline and the government facing the heat for the delays, LSGD specifically said that all collectors can utilize the services of any department officials to complete the verification and finalization of the beneficiary list.