National

Housing for all scheme: Panel raps Ministry

Rajiv Awas Yojana is a battle and the new mission for urban housing is a war, says the report

The Centre has assured of Housing for All by 2022 under the Sardar Patel National Mission for Urban Housing, but reviewing the earlier model of this flagship programme, then known as the Rajiv Awas Yojana (RAY), a Standing Committee on Urban Development in its report has noted that the programme has failed to take off for lack of proper planning.

In a report submitted to Parliament earlier this week, the Committee has noted that even after a lapse of three years preparation work in the targeted 195 cities has not been achieved by the Ministry of Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation.

RAY, launched in two phases was set up for a “slum free India” with inclusive and equitable cities, where citizen have access to basic civic infrastructure and social amenities and decent shelter. The preparatory phase was for a period of two years with a target of 195 cities. The implementation phase was approved in September 2013.

However, the Committee has noted that the preparation activities for phase I of RAY were “tardy”.

“Till date preparatory activities have been completed only in 50 cities of 15 States and work is in progress in 124 cities and is at various stages of completion,” the Committee says.

Reviewing the implementation stage, it says till date 228 cities have been included under RAY and projects have been approved for 145 cities in 22 States. “...The Committee is distressed to note that as on August 1, 2014, 166 detailed project reports have been approved.”

Taking a serious note of the pace of work, the Committee seems sceptical of the Ministry's explanation that RAY has been discontinued and the liabilities created by way of approval of projects are proposed to be subsumed in the new scheme, the Sardar Patel National Mission for Urban Housing.

“The facts are indicative of the fact that RAY is a battle and the new mission for Urban Housing is a war. The Committee fails to understand as to how the war would be won when the battle was lost in the preparatory phase itself,” the report says.

The Ministry has been advised to “strive vigorously to complete the preparatory activities at the earliest and carry out effective measures for monitoring the scheme and sensitise the State governments at the highest level about the goal of the scheme”.

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Printable version | Mar 30, 2020 7:16:38 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/housing-for-all-scheme-parliamentary-committee-raps-housing-ministry/article6711238.ece

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