PMAY Vs Mo Ghara Battle Continues In Odisha

Bhubaneswar: Continuing its tirade against the alleged hijacking of the Centre’s flagship schemes, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) today launched massive protests outside block and municipality offices across Odisha reiterating that the state government is trying to usurp the funds provided under the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (PMAY) and portray it as State’s Awas Yojana/Biju Pucca Ghara.

Not only this, the BJP also alleged that the ‘Mo Awas’ book with ‘Mo Ghara, Mo Swapna’ (My House, My Dream) slogan released by the ruling-government, is misleading the people of Odisha.

BJP Spokesperson Golak Mohapatra said, “The state government is rendering PMAY as its own Awas scheme with some new criteria. The fund allocated for the housing scheme is being transferred to BJD party members, which is why the fate of poor people has remained unchanged. As it is centrally-funded, I would like to request the government officials to follow the necessary guidelines and not distribute the money among BJD workers.”

Responding to BJP, Odisha minister Padmanabha Behera said, “There is no question of hijacking the funds as everyone knows the 60-40 share between the Centre and State. Allocation of houses is being done as per the list prepared in 2011.”

According to the official declaration of the Odisha government, it has built as many as 20,91,443 houses under Biju Pucca Ghar Yojana. While reports claim that PMAY Housing For All is a 60:40 scheme between Centre and State, BJP further questioned the fund utilisation and numbers mentioned by the Odisha government.

Amid this battle between the two parties, it was found that many of the actual beneficiaries have been left out of the housing scheme in Odisha.

A case in point is one Somanath Jakaka of Raghubhata village of Rayagada district. Along with his family members, Somanath has taken shelter at his neighbour’s house after his own house was damaged a few months back.

Even the administration has allegedly turned a deaf ear to Somanath’s repeated requests for a pucca house. He said, “I have been staying at my neighbour’s house. We have applied for Indira Awas Yojana, but the Tehsildar is saying that our name doesn’t show in the ranking system.”

Not only Jakaka, 20 other families in the village are also waiting to get enlisted in the housing scheme. “It is better if we do not say anything about the Indira Awas Yojana. Such a shame it is to see that so far only one out of the 20 odd families in the village has received benefits of Indira Awas,” alleged one Dharama Tajingi.

While CM Naveen recently launched the foundation laying ceremony of about 4 lakh rural housing units in Odisha, it remains to be seen how things take a turn from here.