Sharmili Mallick

Bhadrak: Large scale mismanagement has come to the fore in the implementation of housing scheme for rural poor under the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (PMAY) in two districts of Odisha, where many have been allegedly deprived of the scheme and some eligible beneficiaries are still waiting to avail the housing loans.

One Ajay Nayak of Napang panchayat in Bhandaripokhari block of Bhadrak district is an eligible beneficiary of PMAY. Though the concerned administration claims that it has allocated the first housing instalment, Nayak alleged that he did not receive any money in his bank account.

Upon enquiry, Nayak learnt that the Rs 20,000 which was allocated in his name has been sent to the bank account of another beneficiary with a similar name. Surprisingly, the other person has already availed a house under the scheme.

A few people also alleged that the sarpanch demanded a bribe of Rs 5,000 for sanctioning each of the rural houses in the panchayat.

“I am Ajay Nayak but the fund was allocated to someone else. I don’t have any savings account in SBI. Even after I paid him (sarpanch) Rs 10,000 as demanded by him for sanctioning PMAY house, the money was given to someone else,” the beneficiary alleged.

“The sarpanch had asked me Rs 15,000 for sanctioning house under PMAY. Three to four houses are being sanctioned under one ID number in our village and I have evidence which will prove it,” another complainant, Anil Kumar Nayak said.

While the sarpach is yet to comment on the allegations, the Block Development Officer (BDO) acknowledged that the money was wrongly sent to someone else’s account and it has been refunded.

BDO of Bhandaripokhari, Banamali Tarai said , “The first instalment was mistakenly sent to another person. However, after getting a written complaint from Nayak’s father, a probe was carried out and subsequently the money was deposited on RH portal. We are making a list and those found ineligible for PMAY, their names will be removed from the list.”

Meanwhile in Angul district, Draupadi Pradhan, an elderly woman of Gothmara village under Ogi panchayat, has been staying in a dilapidated single-room thatched house since years as she has been deprived of the centralised housing scheme. Pradhan alleged that despite repeated complaints with the concerned authorities, her requests have fallen on deaf ears.

“We don’t have a concrete house, as such we are facing a lot of trouble during rainy and winter seasons. Despite repeated requests, our demands have remained unheard. I am in the last stage of my life, neither I have a house nor a pension scheme to eke out a living,” alleged Draupadi.

The fate of another woman Buddhei Pradhan and 40 other families of Gothmara village is no different as each of them is struggling to avail the benefits of the scheme.

Budhei said, “My family is spending sleepless nights because every member is living in constant fear that any moment an elephant herd might damage our thatched house. The roof of my house starts leaking after a brief spell of rain. Situation is really difficult for us in rainy days.”

As per reports, these families do not have their names in the Socio Economic and Caste Census held in 2011 which has deprived them of the rural housing schemes.

Officials however have assured that their names are being added in the PMAY beneficiary list based on the recent survey. “Their names were not there in 2011 census list and therefore they have not received houses under the rural housing scheme. A survey was recently carried out in the area and the villagers will get houses next year,” informed Angul Sub Collector, Basudev Satpathy.