Special Correspondent

Rs.2.2 crore for construction of 910 houses under IAY

Rs.2.66 crore for taking up four projects

Probe urged into “irregularities” in implementation of housing scheme

PUDUCHERRY: The Centre has agreed to release Rs.2.66 crore for taking up four poverty alleviation projects in the Union Territory, according to Pattali Makkal Katch Parliamentary Party leader M. Ramadoss.

In a statement released here on Monday, Mr. Ramadoss said though the Centre had earmarked adequate funds for four schemes including Indira Awaaz Yojana and Rural Employment Guarantee Project, the Puducherry Government could not make full use of the food grains allotted, owing to the Assembly elections and local body polls held during that period. This had resulted in the non-release of funds for the schemes to be executed by the commune panchayats and village panchayats, he said adding that the non-availability of funds close on the heels of the local body polls caused a lot of anxiety.

The issue was discussed at the review meeting of the rural development projects held on August 25. Legislators and officials pleaded with him to take up the issue with the Centre and ensure that the funds were released, he recalled.

“In response to their plea, I called on the Union Minister for Rural Development Rahuvansh Prasad Singh and higher officials of the department, and briefed them of the prevailing situation in Puducherry,” Mr. Ramadoss said. He had also asked them to release the funds earmarked for the current financial year, he said.

Accepting the request, the Minister had asked the officials concerned to immediately release the funds. The Secretary of the department had sanctioned Rs.1.07 crore on August 31 as first instalment, he said.

Apart from this, the Centre had also agreed to provide Rs.2.2 crore for construction of 910 houses in addition to the sanctioned 300 houses under the IAY, Mr. Ramadoss said.

If the Puducherry Government did not avail itself of these funds for houses constructed under the ‘Perunthalaivar Kamarajar Centenary Housing Scheme’, the Centre might divert the funds to some other State, he cautioned.

Through a separate statement, Mr. Ramadoss urged the Government to order a probe into the “irregularities” in the implementation of the housing scheme named after Kamaraj.

Presidents of village panchayats, who took part in a meeting in Puducherry on July 31, had also brought the “irregularities” to the notice of Chief Minister N. Rangasamy, he said.