‘Deadline shifted to July as houses will not be ready by May-end'
Aasare, the grandiose scheme of rehabilitating flood victims in 14 districts of the State by providing houses for them, will miss the deadline yet again.
Though Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa had promised that houses to all the flood victims would be handed over by May-end, Revenue Minister G. Karunakara Reddy, who reviewed the ground situation with the Deputy Commissioners and Chief Executive Officers of zilla panchayats of the 14 flood-affected districts on Wednesday, made it clear that it will not be possible to provide houses to all the flood victims by May 31.
“We will be able to complete the construction of 80 per cent of houses by May-end. July is the final deadline for completing the construction of the remaining houses,” the Minister said while briefing presspersons after the review meeting on the Aasare scheme.
It may be noted that the first deadline for the houses to be ready was June 2010 after the floods in October 2009.
Interestingly, the Minister blamed the delay on some of the private donors withdrawing from the project and the huge scale of the project.
“Some of the donors, who took huge publicity after they made commitments to build houses for the flood victims, have withdrawn from the project,” he said. When asked if all the mining companies from Bellary district, who had promised to contribute had kept to their commitment, he said only Ambika Mining Company had opted out of the project.
“You must know that Aasare scheme is not a small one. Such a huge scheme has been taken up for the first time in the country. We are not just constructing houses, but providing all civic amenities like water, power and roads,” the Minister said.
He said of the target of constructing 57,851 houses under the scheme, only about 15,000 had been built (including those built by donors) and handed over to victims.
Statistics released by the Minister showed that donations from people towards the scheme were much more than that spent by the Government on the scheme.
The Government has spent about Rs. 455 crore on the scheme including land acquisition, construction of houses and providing civic amenities. But a donation of Rs. 427 crore has been collected from people from different walks of life and companies. This was in addition to Rs. 210 crore spent by donors for constructing 14,000 houses.
This would mean that the total donation from people towards the project was around Rs. 637 crore as against the Government's spending of about Rs. 455 crore. The Centre has chipped in with Rs. 947 crore towards compensation to the victims.