Pradeep Singh

Bhubaneswar: Amid a series of allegations, Odisha Panchayati Raj Minister Pratap Jena today informed the State Assembly that the government has so far taken action against 101 officials for lapses in implementation of Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (PMAY). While 22 officials have been dismissed, 44 have been put under suspension and disciplinary action has been taken against 35 officials.

Rechecking of the PMAY beneficiary list will be done to ensure transparency, said Jena adding that a new beneficiary list will be published by December 31, 2019.

Opposition parties today targeted the Odisha government alleging massive irregularities in PMAY. Both the BJP and the Congress alleged that instead of the actual beneficiaries, people with political links are getting houses under PMAY.

As per allegations, political leaders and officials are beneficiaries of PMAY at some places in Odisha, including Mouda, Jamara and Daudpur panchayat under Mahanga block of Cuttack district.

The BJP alleged that in Daudpur, number of houses allotted is almost double the number of actual beneficiaries in the panchayat. Similarly, 15 families who had received houses under the yojana in 2018 were reportedly allotted houses again in 2019.

Moreover, five PMAY houses have been allegedly allotted to the brother of former Mahanga block chairman. The unholy nexus between politicians and administrative officials is the real reason behind the massive scam, the saffron party alleged.

Taking a dig at the Odisha government, BJP MLA and deputy Leader of Opposition, Bishnu Sethi said that MLAs are yet to get official residences even after almost eight months of elections. "At least allot us a house under the PMAY scheme," he quipped.

Congress MLA Tara Bahinipati on the other hand, alleged massive corruption in Biju Pucca Ghar Yojana at block and panchayat level in the State. "As the government today informed that action has been taken against some officials, it means corruption is actually happening under the scheme," said Bahinipati.