Ashraya may be replaced by new housing scheme

Staff Correspondent

`Navagram' is based on a Chinese concept

Under the new scheme, houses will be constructed away from the existing cluster of houses Government contemplating change in process of selecting beneficiaries

MYSORE: Minister for Housing D.T. Jayakumar said the coalition Government is considering a proposal to overhaul the Ashraya housing scheme by incorporating the "Navagram" concept that envisages construction of houses with proper facilities away from the existing clusters of hoses that suffer from lack of civic amenities.

Addressing a press conference here on Saturday, Mr. Jayakumar said a formal announcement of the coalition Government's revised housing scheme will be announced after the ensuing Budget session. "The scheme has been discussed by the Janata Dal (Secular) Legislature Party and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Legislature Party. A cabinet approval is awaited," he said.

He said the "Navagram" or "group housing" scheme is based on a Chinese concept. The houses to be constructed under the proposed scheme will be away from the cluster of houses that already exist in a village.

"For instance, there are about 1,000 houses in a village and 200 families do not have housing facilities. Under the proposed scheme, houses will be constructed for those without dwellings away from the cluster of houses. If houses are constructed in the same area, which usually lack civic infrastructure, it will lead to a slum-like situation," he said.

Selecting beneficiaries

Mr. Jayakumar said the Government is contemplating a change in the process of selecting beneficiaries after being flooded by complaints of corruption and nepotism in the allotment of Ashraya houses.

"The Janata Dal (S) Legislature Party meeting was in favour of constituting a committee headed by the area MLA to ensure fairness in the distribution of houses to beneficiaries. ," he said.

The proposed housing scheme envisages allotment of sites to beneficiaries above the poverty line (APL). However, a house will be constructed for below the poverty line (BPL) beneficiaries, he added.

Transfer of officials

To a question on the transfer of government servants, Mr. Jayakumar said Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy has directed that 90 per cent of the transfers should be executed during April-May.

"However, there will be a provision to transfer officials throughout the year as it is necessary to exercise control over the officials," Mr. Jayakumar said. Mr. Jayakumar said the party MLAs will support the candidature of industrialist Rajeev Chandrashekar during the elections to the Rajya Sabha from Karnataka Assembly on March 28.