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Rajendra Prasad Mohapatra

Rayagada: Massive irregularities and scams in the Indira Awaas Yojana (IAY), which is now known as Pradhan Mantri Gramin Awaas Yojana (PMGAY), continue to expose Odisha government's big claim of zero tolerance against corruption.

A case in point is the recent report from Rayagada district of Odisha where many poor beneficiaries of the central housing scheme have allegedly become the victim of such corruption. As per reports, many houses under the scheme remain incomplete in the tribal-infested district even after 10 years of deadline.

Many villagers of Tikarapada village under Halua Grampanchayat under Rayagada Sadar block in the district, including Male Kadraka and Basu Meleka, two beneficiaries of the IAY scheme that helps poor and socially backward Indians upgrade their homes, are still living in half-constructed houses sans doors and windows.

“I am a daily wage labourer and not able to complete the house because of severe financial constraint. The contractor left the house half-built,” said Meleka.

According to reports, both Kadraka and Meleka were given the work order of Rs 35,000 each under the scheme for house in 2009. However, they failed to undertake the construction work due to financial constraint following which a contractor was given the assignment to complete the project. However, he allegedly cleared the bill and fled without completing the construction work.

“It is even becoming hard for us to make both ends meet with our meagre amount of income. Building a house is like a dream. So, we have left it up to the government to consider our ordeal,” lamented another villager, Pratima Sarka.

Rayagada Block Development Officer (BDO) Rajendra Kumar Majhi, who is aware of the situation, said, "Tikarapada villagers need to complete the construction work of their houses and submit the bills. Then only, we could take steps to clear the amount,” Majhi assured.

(Edited by Pradeep Singh)

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