Almost 25 years after the launch of Asha Mandira scheme by the Mysore Urban Development Authority (MUDA) in which 15,000 sites and model houses were distributed to the economically weaker section of the society, the Authority plans a similar project on a smaller scale.

The project is in the conceptual stage and will be sent to the Ministry of Urban Development for its approval before the Detailed Project Report can be signed. The MUDA Commissioner P.C. Jayanna told The Hindu PropertyPlus that the new scheme is an offshoot of the “Own Your House” scheme (OYHS) which did not take off as envisaged. Hence the MUDA decided to reach out to the EWS through “Namma Mane” under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM).

But the Union Government did not approve the proposal as it was not backed by a demand survey and took a dim view of blending housing project for the EWS with JNNURM projects which focuses on rehabilitation of people in urban slums.

Hence the MUDA re-jigged the concept and has come out with a new proposal under which it will initially construct 500 model houses for the economically weaker section. It will be akin to OYHS and the objective is to provide quality shelter to those who were not compensated during the land acquisition process. “We have earmarked Rs.25 crore for the project pending its approval. A sum of Rs.15 crore will be reserved for Backward Castes and the remaining Rs.10 crore has been reserved for the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes,” said Mr. Jayanna.

The cost-sharing aspects and the contribution of the beneficiaries will be worked out in due course and it is likely that the State Government will chip in to subsidise the project to the extent of Rs. 1 lakh per house and the MUDA will contribute a matching amount. The beneficiaries may be asked to pay a nominal amount towards the construction of their respective units.

The MUDA, which has come under criticism for its inability to clear pending list of nearly 1.48 lakh site applications, is also planning to charter a new direction by taking up construction of houses for the EWS group instead of distributing sites.

The new project of constructing 500 houses is a small step in that direction. Creation of new layouts and putting in place a master plan for Mysore's development will continue to remain its core objectives.

R. Krishna Kumar