Devbrat Patnaik

Bhubaneswar: A day before the scheduled foundation laying of 4 lakh houses by CM Naveen Patnaik, the Odisha BJP today criticised the move citing that the state government is trying to hijack the funds provided under the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (PMAY) and portray it as State's rural housing scheme.

Prior to the elections, Naveen had said that every single family residing in slums would be provided pucca house in phases by 2022. However, questions have also been raised now over the efficiency of the Odisha government in building houses as many are still deprived of it.

Kalpana Datta, a divyang woman from Bhogarai alleged, "I had applied for a pucca house in 2017-18. I badly need a house." Even after two years, Kalpana's form hasn't reached the regional panchayat office.

Same is the case with Ratan Haldar of Nidhibani village. He has been running from pillar to post for a pucca house, but till now his name is nowhere in the beneficiary list.

CM Naveen is scheduled to launch the foundation laying ceremony of about 4 lakh rural housing beneficiaries through video conferencing at 11:45 hrs tomorrow. However, BJP today lambasted the state government citing that there is no mention of PMAY anywhere in the adverts.

Addressing a presser in Bhubaneswar today, party general secretary Lekhashree Samantsinghar mentioned the yearly contributions by Centre to Odisha under PMAY. She said that Odisha received Rs 3100 crore in 2017-18, Rs 3600 crore in 2018-19 and Rs 4820 crore in 2019-20, all under the Centre's flagship scheme.

"Odisha government in its website has claimed that it has built as many as 20,91, 443 under Biju Pucca Ghar Yojana. This is a blatant lie of the state government. Funds are being provided by the Centre but the government here says 'We committed, we delivered'. This is how they are hoodwinking people," alleged Lekha.

Responding to BJP, BJD MLA Arabinda Dhali said, "Houses are being built under State's scheme as well as Centre's scheme. Why would anyone hijack the scheme or the funds? Odisha government is capable enough and has launched many such schemes and successfully implemented them as well. There is no truth in the comments made by BJP."

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