The Karnataka Government has decided to bring out a new housing policy next month with a focus on providing housing to all those living in huts over a period of time.

Minister for Housing Katta Subramanya Naidu told presspersons here on Friday that the new policy would be announced after consultations with Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa during the pre-budget meeting. Ineffective implementation of the Ashraya housing scheme was one of the reasons for the proposed new housing policy, he said.

According a survey conducted by the Rajiv Gandhi Housing Corporation, about 4.08 lakh families have been residing in huts across the State and with the 10 per cent annual growth in the homeless families, the number is expected to reach 4.5 lakh in the next two to three years. The Government had decided to build 1.5 lakh houses under the Indira Awas Yojana each year from 2010-11 and the cost of each house would be raised from Rs. 40,000 to Rs. 63,324. While the Centre grants Rs. 26,400, the rest is contributed by the State Government and the beneficiary, he said.

A sum of Rs. 900 crore would be required to construct 1.5 lakh houses each year. The Government would mobilise Rs. 400 crore under the High Power Committee for Implementation of the Recommendations of the Nanjundappa Panel on Regional Imbalances and the Government would expect Rs. 264 crore from the Centre. The Government had to raise the balance amount under different schemes, the Minister said.

To provide housing for economically weaker sections (EWS), the Gvernment has proposed to build houses costing Rs. 1.10 lakh each both in rural and urban areas. The lead banks in each district would be asked to disburse loans to self-help groups of beneficiaries while the Karnataka Housing Board (KHB) would provide subsidy of Rs. 35,000 to each beneficiary. The State Government would provide a grant of Rs. 10,000 to each house and the beneficiary had to contribute Rs. 10,000 which would be paid in five instalments, Mr. Naidu said.

Stating all funds would be earmarked for construction of houses in the State budget for 2010-11, Mr. Naidu said under the new policy, 21 per cent of the houses would be allocated to Scheduled Tribes and Scheduled Castes, 3 per cent for physically challenged and rest would be allocated for EWS families. With the cooperation from taluk-level officials, the Department officials would prepare an action plan for providing housing for all in the State, he said.

The KHB has proposed to develop two lakh housing sites in 2010-11 in different parts of the State. The KHB has also prepared a plan to construct one lakh houses. The farmers who provide lands for construction of houses would be given 35 per cent of the developed land, he said.

Noting several loopholes in the implementation of the Government’s Ashraya housing scheme, the Minister said 1.78 lakh houses were constructed till November last against 2.94 lakh houses in 2008-09. Mr. Naidu said he was not totally satisfied with the identification of families, construction and allocation of houses under the scheme.

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