Snail's pace delivery of Indian Housing Scheme criticised

[TamilNet, Thursday, 28 May 2015, 23:57 GMT]
Five years have elapsed since New Delhi announced what it called as the “flagship project of India´s developmental assistance,” in June 2010. Apart from the fact that the project is being delivered in snail's pace, many of the beneficiaries who had lost everything have been forced to undertake 700,000 rupees in loans to complete their houses as the money allocated for each house, 550,000 rupees, was not adequate, the families complain. Out of 41,512 houses allocated in the Northern Province, only 44% of the houses, numbering around 18,220 units have been completed so far.

3,450 units of 8,700 allocated to Jaffna district, 4,078 units of 8,568 allocated to Ki'linochchi district, 1,900 units of 4,931 houses allocated to Vavuniyaa district, 4,542 units of 11,813 houses allocated to Mullaiththeevu district and 4,267 units of 7,500 allocated to Mannaar have been completed so far, according to civil sources in Jaffna.

Approximately 1,250,000 rupees are needed to construct a unit and the war-affected recipients have no other option than taking up loans to accomplish the task.

The project, claimed as the “largest grants assistance programme that government of India has undertaken anywhere in the world,” in 2013 by the then Indian External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid has been a habitual show, since 27 November 2010 visit of his predecessor S.M. Krishna, to declare open new units every time an Indian official or politician visit North-East.

Soina Gandhi's Indian National Congress appointed External Affairs Ministers S.M. Krishna, Salman Khurshid, the then opposition leader Sushma Swaraj, who became the new External Affairs Minister of the current New Delhi regime and the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi have all been opening one or two units during their visits to North in the past.

The housing scheme has gone through a lot of controversies and has been progressing at a snail's pace from its inception.

When many countries were prepared to assist the uprooted people with constructing houses after 2009, New Delhi rushed with its announcement of constructing 50,000 houses, ousting others from the scene.

The current status of the Indian Housing Scheme was discussed at the Northern Provincial Council last week, the NPC sources in Jaffna said.

 

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