R.Jagadeeswara Rao

Applications gather dust in the office

Colourful brochures released to attract buyers

Enquiries reveal that no land had been acquired

Srikakulam: The fond hopes of thousands of middle class people to have a roof over their heads in one of the urban areas have gone awry, if their applications that have been apparently gathering dust in the office is any indication. It is basically an urban housing scheme meant for people with moderate incomes. Nearly 5,780 applicants who had applied for a house under the Rajiv Swagruha Scheme more than a year back, had no idea of what had happened to their applications. Nor do they have any idea of what happened to the deposit amount of Rs.3,000 per unit and the application cost of Rs.250. The exact cost of the proposed house was not mentioned. In all, nearly Rs.1.90 crore had been paid by the 5,780 odd applicants. The money is with the Corporation. It may be recalled that the Government had announced the Rajiv Swagruha Scheme with much fanfare. The idea was to ensure middle class people a house in municipal areas. The AP Rajiv Swagruha Corporation, a building trust, came into existence. Houses would be constructed to suit the tastes and financial status of the persons. Colourful advertisements and brochures were released to attract prospective buyers. A brochure released by AP Rajiv Swagruha Corporation has the following message of Chief Minister Y.S.Rajasekhara Reddy : Every person with moderate income, having no house of his/her own must have a house that is affordable ’. ‘The Government of AP is implementing a unique housing scheme for moderate income groups. The Government is constructing 1.75 lakh houses with all amenities and quality construction at a price 25 per cent less than the prevailing market price. The Government is taking all steps that these houses can be possessed by the people by the end of next year’ this was the assurance given by the Housing Minister, Botcha Satyanarayana, on the brochure. In retrospect, this swanky brochure seems to have become the proverbial siren’s call. There was good response from the district.

Provision

There was a provision in the scheme which enabled a person to apply for a unit in any of the municipalities. It was because of this that people from all the 38 mandals in the district had applied. However there were the largest number of 5,320 applications for allotment of a unit in the Srikakulam municipality. While Rajam municipality received 300 applications, Palasa municipality received 200. Interestingly there are no applications for Amadalavalasa municipality. Evidently applicants wanted a house in Srikakulam town, which is only about 10 km. from Amadalavalasa.

As a first step, land has to be acquired by the Revenue Department for the project. The Housing Department would execute the project.

Enquiries reveal that so far no land had been acquired for the project. Some time back an effort had been made to identify land for implementation of the scheme. Meanwhile applicants were sitting with their fingers crossed, not knowing what happens to their deposit amount and whether the scheme would materialise.