Schemes galore, but endless wait for listed beneficiaries

‘It is difficult to find land for housing project in West Kochi’

Arifa M.K.’s name was somewhere at the top of the list of Zero Landless Kerala beneficiaries in Ernakulam, she says. In the Rajiv Awas Yojana (RAY) housing beneficiary list, her now deceased husband’s name was listed at number 202 and they were allotted door number 14.

She is now listed as a beneficiary under the LIFE (Livelihood Inclusion and Financial Empowerment) Mission’s housing project for the landless and homeless, she says.

Despite her presence on the lists, she continues to live in a small rented house in Thuruthy, as one scheme turned into another.

The Zero Landless Kerala scheme invited applications in 2013 and ambitiously planned to give three cents to each landless family by 2015.

“A few people who benefited from the scheme complained of the land allotted being unsuitable or being given land deeds but not land,” said E. Chandrasekharan, Minister for Revenue and Housing.

Meanwhile, the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (PMAY) was launched by the Centre in 2015 and the State government’s focus shifted to the LIFE Mission, he said.

The PMAY project focusses on beneficiary-led construction of houses for families with land.

Credit-linked subsidy

For the landless, there is a less popular credit-linked subsidy which offers a bank loan of ₹6 lakh with subsidised interest to purchase a house, but procuring the loan is often a hassle, said a Kudumbashree District Mission official.

Kudumbashree is the government’s nodal agency for implementing housing schemes under RAY, PMAY and LIFE.

“The State government’s LIFE Mission has identified around 13,000 landless people within Kochi Corporation limits, of which over 2,000 are in Fort Kochi,” said Earnest Thomas, district coordinator, LIFE. Housing projects under the upcoming phase three of the mission cover the landless and homeless.

“But the West Kochi area is thickly populated and it is proving to be difficult to find land to implement phase three,” Mr. Thomas said.

No updated list

The beneficiary list for the landless under the LIFE Mission was prepared in 2017 after a survey conducted by Kudumbashree workers at the ward level, Mr. Thomas said.

“While some RAY beneficiaries, whose apartment units are yet to be constructed, might now be included under the PMAY project, there is no updated list of RAY beneficiaries,” the Kudumbashree official said.

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Printable version | Feb 19, 2020 3:30:43 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Kochi/schemes-galore-but-endless-wait-for-listed-beneficiaries/article30090832.ece

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