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Govt guidelines elude beneficiaries from getting houses under PMGAY

Puri: Pradhan Mantri Gramin Awaas Yojana (PMGAY), the flagship rural housing scheme of the country, has turned into a farce in Astaranga block of the district, thanks to the Odisha government’s guidelines.

According to sources, the Odisha government had sanctioned a total of 39 PMGAY houses for the block in 2018-19, but a report from the District Rural Development Authority (DRDA), Puri shows that only seven beneficiaries were granted houses and the rest 32 PMGAY houses were returned citing absence of eligible beneficiaries in the block.

However, the ground reality shows a complete different picture as several people in the block still have no roof over their head.

One Jatadhari Kandi of Khuntia sahi doesn’t have a pucca house of his own and neither the esteemed housing scheme of the government benefited him. He is now forced to live in a polythene tent braving rain and sun.

As per reports, as many as 2545 houses under the state and central scheme were sanctioned for the block in the last five years. However the State government’s guideline says, the families, head of which have received houses under the project after 2000 are ineligible for a new house.

Meanwhile, Astaranga block chairman Swadhin Nayak said the government needs to change the guidelines.

“It would be better if the administration takes a stock of the condition here and accordingly award pucca houses rather than prepare census report which happens to be faulty,” Nayak said.

On the other hand, the block development officer (BDO) said, “We have to ensure that we stick to guidelines but if anyone deserves to get a house under the scheme and has not got it yet due to any reason, we will look into it,” said BDO Manoj Behera.

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