Over 31 lakh houses have been completed under rural housing schemes in Odisha in a span of six years, a top official said.

As many as 31,08,471 houses allotted to beneficiaries under different schemes were completed, and 1,75,960 houses were in different stages of construction, the official said.

Chief Secretary S C Mohapatra, while presiding over the oversight committee meeting on rural housing schemes Saturday, directed the authorities to allot pucca houses to all 8,575 eligible families under the Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Group (PVTG) category in a time-bound manner.

Among hundreds of tribal communities, PVTGs are relatively more isolated, vulnerable, deprived, and backward.

These tribal groups live in small, scattered habitats in remote and inaccessible areas.

Their livelihoods are vulnerable because, over the years, the more dominant tribal and non-tribal groups have encroached upon the resources they originally controlled and accessed for their survival.

Earlier designated as Primitive Tribal Groups (PTGs), the government has recently re-designated them as Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Groups (PVTGs) for giving them special attention for their all-around development.

Thirteen different tribes come under the PVTG category in Odisha, the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes Research and Training Institute (SCSTRTI), Bhubaneswar, said on its official website.

The houses were being allotted to the people under rural housing schemes such as Biju Pucca Ghar Yojana, Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana ( Grameen), Pucca Ghar Yojana (mining), Nirman Shramik (construction workers), Pucca Ghar Yojana, and Mastya Jeebi (Fishermen) Basagruha Yojana.

Mohapatra asked the Principal Secretary of Revenue and Disaster Management, B P Sethi, for the allocation of homestead land to landless families by simplifying and leveraging provisions under different schemes.

The Collectors were asked to allot them the land where they were staying to the extent possible.

The chief secretary emphasised that the landless people were really poor and they should be brought under rural housing schemes, an official statement said.

Around 39,198 beneficiaries found eligible for rural housing schemes were landless.

Of them, 2,326 families were allotted land, and the rest were under consideration as many of them were staying on objectionable land , the statement said.

The meeting resolved to expedite the process and allot available government land to them, it said.

Further, considering the case of mining workers in mine areas, the chief secretary directed the Panchayat Raj and Drinking Water department (PR and DW) to survey the housing requirement of the mine staying in hamlets.

The departments of Steel and Mines and PR and DW were asked to work out the modalities for building pucca houses for them in the shape of mining colonies, the statement said.

The case of people displaced for irrigation, infrastructural projects, and families taken out of the reserve forest was also discussed in the meeting and the chief secretary directed the official to include such types of families also under rural housing schemes on a priority basis.

Discussions in the meeting showed that around 12.25 lakh families who were otherwise found eligible through field inquiry should be included under the PAMY for which Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik had requested the Central government to open the PMAY portal for a month.