Bengal has topped the country in the rural Awas Yojana as over 32 lakh houses have been completed so far under the scheme.
Panchayat minister Pulak Roy said under the guidance of chief minister Mamata Banerjee, there would be constant efforts to provide houses to the rural poor so that none remains homeless, which is a dream of the CM.
Beneficiaries are selected based on various social parameters so that rural housing problem can be resolved, the minister added. The aim is to provide a pucca house with basic amenities to the state’s entire homeless population, Roy said.
They are provided with a 25sqm house, including a kitchen, the minister further said. Those staying in dilapidated houses or mud houses can also apply for accommodation under the scheme that the Centre launched in 2016-17.
Those employed under MGNREGA scheme are given preference in allotment of such houses. A Rs 1.2 lakh fund is directly transferred to the beneficiaries’ bank account and panchayats provide assistance in house construction. The funding is jointly done by the Centre and respective state governments.
Moreover, each beneficiary is entitled to wages of 95 unskilled man-days under MGNREGA and assistance for toilet construction under Mission Nirmal Bangla sch-eme, an official pointed out.
The official said under Bangla Awas Yojna, so far over 32 lakh houses had been completed out of sanctioned 34.6 lakh houses. Awassoft, the Centre’s software for monitoring the scheme, says completion of houses from the sanctioned category is 92.5% in Bengal, which is highest in the country.
The official added that the Bengal government also provided land to over 21,000 landless families to build houses. In 2021-22, the state had enrolled 56.9 lakh families as eligible under the rural Awas Yojana, of which cases of 38.9 lakh families were forwarded to the Centre, but it did not approve any, the official said. The Centre approved cases from 24 other states, he added.
“Money is provided to beneficiaries in phases and the houses are geo-tagged, and depending on construction progress, the next instalment of money is released,” the official said.
The state charges no fee for applications under the scheme and provides total waiver of mutation fee and sanctions building plan without charge.