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Odishatv Bureau

Bhubaneswar: Amid row over merger of State-run KALIA scheme with Centre’s PM-KISAN, it seems that Odisha government is also trying to piggyback its Biju Pucca Ghar Yojana on the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (PMAY).

Data available on the Union Rural Development Ministry’s website claims that the Odisha government has not spent a single penny and not a single house has been constructed under the Biju Pucca Ghar Yojana in 2019-20. The State Finance Minister Niranjan Pujari had also hinted about the merger while tabling the annual budget earlier this year.

As per sources, during the year 2018-19, the State government had a target to construct 29,443 houses under the Biju Pucca Ghar Yojana but only 21,031 houses were constructed. Surprisingly, the government has also not released the pending amount for construction of the remaining houses. It has now raised questions in the mind of the beneficiaries who are now worried if the government would even release the pending benefits under the scheme or not.

Prior to the general elections, the government went on an overdrive to promote the Biju Pucca Ghar Yojana and even campaigned saying that it has successfully managed to construct 17 lakh pucca houses during the preceding four years. However in reality, the government had constructed only 2.83 lakh houses.

At present while the Panchayati Raj department, the executing authority of the scheme, still has a logo of Biju Pucca Ghar Yojana, it does not have any details of houses constructed under the scheme.

“Even though the government has not allocated a single penny for Biju Pucca Ghar Yojana, they are proudly advertising the scheme. In other words this is called theft and the ruling-BJD is clearly involved in it,” said BJP general secretary Prithviraj Harichandan.

Similarly, Congress leader and former Finance Minister Panchanan Kanungo said that it is another political ploy of the government to keep its grip on public support without actually doing any welfare.

"Earlier, the Centre used to fund 100% of the housing schemes, but after Modi government came to power, our expenditure on housing schemes has increased and so we are attaching Biju Pucca Ghar with PMAY scheme," said senior ruling-party MLA, Debi Prasad Mishra.

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