THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Even while the city corporation has been trying to meet the demand of the homeless in the city, some beneficiaries are tweaking conditions in the contract, posing new challenges. The civic body council that recently met considered an issue where one beneficiary of a housing scheme apparently sold the land purchased under the housing scheme to raise money for the marriage of his daughter.
While the conditions in the contract clearly say that the beneficiary is not supposed to sell off the land bought using corporation’s funds, this beneficiary sold the land by accepting Rs l lakh as advance to fund his daughter’s marriage. Half a cent of land was sold to a third party and the beneficiary informed the corporation that he was unaware about the condition against sale of land bought using the corporation’s fund.
He had verbally reached an agreement with the other party to sell the land at a total cost of Rs 2.25 lakh and as per the agreement with the party, the beneficiary agreed to receive the balance amount after getting the land registered or else he would have to pay back the amount with interest.
The civic body had entrusted the members of the welfare standing committee to look into the matter who reported that the beneficiary lives in humble conditions. Now, the corporation has decided to cancel the agreement with the beneficiary and to get the land registered in the name of the third party. The recently-held council meeting decided to refer the matter to the collector for consent.
Senior councillors with the corporation said that even considering the humanitarian conditions, such compromises go against the spirit and purpose of the housing schemes.
Such practices had hindered the efforts of the civic body in ensuring housing for the eligible beneficiaries in the past as well. Earlier, around 78 beneficiaries had withdrawn from various housing schemes.
The readiness of the beneficiaries to repay the amount came as a surprise to the officials, who later found out that some of them have already reached an agreement with third parties to sell off the property and partly-constructed house.
Further probe revealed that most of the beneficiaries come under severe pressure to sell off the property either to marry off their daughters or to move out to new places.
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