Special Correspondent

HYDERABAD: Chief Minister Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy has directed officials to ignore the Opposition’s criticism of the Government’s housing policy and asked them to complete their targets on time.

A press release by the Chief Minister’s Office said here on Wednesday that Dr. Reddy asked officials to concentrate on early completion of the housing goals. Andhra Pradesh was the only State where a massive “Griha Yagnam” was launched with an allocation of Rs. 5,000 crore. The Government had also earmarked Rs. 500 crore for acquiring house sites.

The Indiramma scheme was vital for development and officials must ensure quality construction, he said. Already 12 lakh houses had been constructed in the first two years. Of the 19 lakh target under Indiramma Phase 1, eight lakh houses had been completed and 10 lakh units would be completed by October as planned, he said.

When one official resented the criticism of political parties in this regard, Dr. Reddy asked him to take it in his stride. All those who were criticising the Government would one day regret seeing the end result, he said.

Big challenge

Dr. Reddy said estimates showed that 47 lakh poor in the rural areas and 13 lakh in urban areas did not have shelter. The biggest challenge faced by the Government was to provide shelter for all in the next three years.

He said officials must become partners in progress by making the State ‘hut-free’ and ‘slum-free’ by 2009.