JNNURM houses turn a hub of anti-social activities

Court cases and other factors delay allotment to beneficiaries

July 23, 2020 11:40 pm | Updated July 24, 2020 10:12 am IST - Vijayawada

The houses that were constructed under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM) a decade ago at Rajarajeswaripeta in the city have become a hub of anti-social activities.

The Vijayawada Municipal Corporation (VMC) constructed as many as 512 houses in the area. The Central government sanctioned the houses under the JNNURM in 2007-08 and the construction was completed in 2010-11.

Even as the VMC was gearing up to allot the houses, some moved the court claiming that the corporation had built the houses in their lands. Since then, the allotment was put on hold. The asset value of this project was ₹16 crore. The VMC incurred a loss of about ₹80 lakh as the miscreants have stolen electric panels, water supply material, doors etc. The unit cost was ₹3.4 lakh and beneficiaries have paid around ₹66,000, sources say.

Not just the housing projects at Rajarajeswaripeta hit the roadblock, but the projects at Jakkampudi, Ajith Singh Nagar Kabela faced similar fate. The construction came to a grinding halt in 2010-11 for various reasons, including black listing of contractors. By then, the VMC had spent ₹133 crore. As many as 3,136 houses at these places are in various stages of construction despite the fact that the JNNURM programme was closed in 2014. The then government suggested the VMC to avail a bank loan of ₹100 crore and pool up ₹56 crore through the beneficiaries. The government gave guarantee for the loan, sources say.

But, the residents near the unallotted blocks have grievances. "A girl, who was allegedly mentally unstable, committed suicide by jumping from one of the blocks which is yet to be allotted," recalls Yesamma, a nearby resident.

The houses have been lying vacant for many years now. Many houses are also being misused by anti-social elements, while electrical equipment installed in several houses have been stolen.

Wild creepers and bushes have grown around several houses. Anti-social elements are using the vacant houses for their activities, says another resident.

Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) State secretariat member and convener of AP Urban Citizens' Federation Ch. Babu Rao says the case was disposed of six months ago. But the VMC has not allotted the houses, he says.

‘List being prepared’

Corporation chief engineer Marianna says that the beneficiaries list is being prepared. Necessary repairs will be carried out as soon as the list is prepared and beneficiaries are ready to move, he adds.

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