Minister for Housing V. Somanna on Friday said that five lakh of the 20 lakh Ashraya houses proposed in the State would be ready for distribution by March 30 next year and the panchayat development officers and executive officers of village panchayats would finalise the names of the beneficiaries by then.

Speaking to presspersons, the Minister said 4,000 houses would be distributed in each of the 198 Assembly constituencies and circulars had been issued. Of the five lakhs, four lakhs were under the Basava-Indira Awas Yojana and one lakh under the Ashraya scheme. A few MLAs had said that they did not require Ashraya houses in their jurisdictions. Many houses had not been allotted; some were yet to be completed, while others were in a dilapidated condition.

Of the total cost of Rs. 2,400 crore for these houses, the Government announced an interest waiver of Rs.1,085 crore as the beneficiaries had expressed their inability to pay the same. But, in many cases, the beneficiaries had failed to pay the loan amount of Rs.10,000 given by the Government as seed money for the houses, and hence the houses had not been registered in their names.

Mr. Somanna said the Government had decided to give free registration for the houses. He also admitted that some beneficiaries had been allotted several sites/houses as the Government was distributing them under different schemes.

To overcome the problem, the Minister said he had proposed to bring all schemes under one umbrella such as the Housing or Urban Development Department.

A committee under the chairmanship of the Housing Secretary was going into these aspects and a report would be placed before the Cabinet in one month.

Slum-dwellers

Meanwhile, Bhagya, Sampada and Yashasvi houses, numbering 1,660 for slum-dwellers in over 500 slums in the city would be built near Yelahanka and Bidadi.

Construction cost

Houses would also be built for them in the district headquarters with cost of houses ranging from Rs. 3.9 lakh, Rs. 4.75 lakh to Rs. 5.5 lakh. He said the cost of construction of an Ashraya house was Rs. 50,000 and his department was proposing to hike it to Rs. 60,000 at the meeting with the Union Minister for Housing Kumari Shelja.

The department has received 10,000 applications for sites/houses on the outskirts of the city. Denying the charge made by the Leader of Opposition in the Legislative Assembly Siddaramaiah that no Ashraya houses had been distributed to the poor even though the Union Government was meeting all the expenses, he said the Centre was providing only 50 per cent and the rest was being met by the State Government, including infrastructure such as drinking water, roads, power connection and drainage facilities to the layouts.

G category sites

Asked whether the G-category sites in the Karnataka Housing Board would be withdrawn, as there were complaints of misuse of powers in distributing them, Mr. Somanna said he had written to the Housing Secretary to amend the rules for G-category sites in Bangalore and Mysore. Asked whether such sites in Shimoga, Hassan, Mangalore, Belgaum and other cities would also be cancelled, he said that he would look into it.

Unless layouts were formed in Tier-II cities such as Kanakapura, Ramanagara and Channapatna, migration to Bangalore could not be stopped, he said.

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