Roof Over Head Still A Distant Dream For Many In Odisha

Bhubaneswar: Despite a plethora of housing and welfare schemes introduced by the Centre and the State government, several families in Odisha continue to spend sleepless nights under the open sky.

For Jatani Singh of Aanlakuda village under Suliapada block in Mayurbhanj district, neither the Centre’s Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (PMAY) nor has Odisha’s Biju Pucca Ghar Yojana lent any kind of support to her family.

Getting a permanent roof under any government housing scheme still remains a distant dream as her family members continue to live under acute poverty in a polythene-roofed hut since years. Jatani has been running from pillar to post for the last couple of years seeking a house, but her name is yet to find a place in the beneficiary list.

“We are living in so much pain here with our three children but no one is paying heed to our requests. When it rains, we sit for hours and spend sleepless nights without food,” said Jatani.

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Speaking on the matter, Suliapada BDO Parikshit Jena said, “We will give her entitlement card and house on March 5. She may not be in the priority list else she would have got the house.”

Similar situation was also witnessed in Fatehpur, Golapokhari and Barikabindha villages under Tihidi block of Bhadrak district. “I have been applying for a house for several years now but my name is getting rejected every time,” said Damayanti Barik of Fatehpur.

“I am an eligible beneficiary but my name is yet to be included in the list,” alleged Manjulata Barik of Nischintapur.

However, Tihidi BDO Sarat Mallick said, “They can apply for a house now as the inclusion process is underway. If we find them eligible, they will be allotted a house.”

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If people here continue to suffer to get a pucca house, Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ‘Housing for All by 2022’ vision will simply fall flat in Odisha, opined another local.