Bhubaneswar: Believe it or not, the State government has constructed a record seven lakh pucca houses under several rural housing schemes in the State in a span of five months!
According to information sourced from the replies of Panchayati raj minister Arun Sahoo in Odisha Assembly in December 2015, construction of 3,02,333 houses were completed till December which included 57,538 houses under Biju Pucca Ghar (a state sponsored scheme) and 2,44,795 houses under Indira Awas Yojana.
In May 2016, chief minister Naveen Patnaik had dedicated 10 lakh pucca houses to the rural poor. Hence going by the numbers, within five months, the State government was able to complete seven lakh pucca houses.
But interestingly, during the ongoing winter session of Assembly, in a written reply to BJP’s Dillip Ray, Sahoo said information is being gathered to ascertain the exact number of completed pucca houses.
The number game has not gone down well with the Opposition parties who alleged that the State government was misleading the people in the matter.
“When the CM dedicated ten lakh pucca houses to the rural people in May, seven months later the concerned minister has no information on the total number of houses built by the government so far. Then whom should we rely on”? asked BJP State vice-president Sameer Mohanty.
The Congress has also said keeping ensuing panchayat polls in mind, the ruling party is misleading the people for political gains.
“As a layman I am asking how is it possible to construct seven lakh pucca houses in five months……I am sure the information furnished is completely false. The pity is that, ministers are so dependent on the bureaucrats that whatever the figure they give, the former blindly go by them and never want to crosscheck the figures”, rued Congress leader and former OPCC chief Niranjan Patnaik.
Meanwhile, stressing that the State government has constructed 10 lakh units of pucca houses, Sahoo said, “As per information, we construct one lakh unit Biju Pucca houses every year and till date 10 lakh units have already been constructed so far”.