Centre to build 10 million houses for rural poor

Delhi, November 30: The ministry of Rural Development is aiming to complete the construction of 10 million houses for the rural poor by December 2018, a deadline set by the National Democratic Alliance government, a government official said.

More than five million houses will completed by March 2018, apart from the one million houses that have been already constructed in addition to three million houses which are in various stages of construction.

“Given the progress we have seen so far, we are confident of completing the 10 million houses for rural poor—a target set by the prime minister by December 2018,” an official said.  

About 5.6 million people were sanctioned houses under the programme. The government has been using data from the 2011 Socio-Economic Caste Census and Gram Sabha records, the official added.  “The faster completion of quality houses has been assisted by payment of assistance directly into the beneficiary account through the IT-DBT [information technology-direct benefit transfer] platform.”

Space technology and IT platforms are being used to monitor the cycle of house construction, right from identification of beneficiary to construction stages of houses to completion and each stage is being geo-tagged. “The finished houses are equipped with facilities like toilets, LPG connection, electricity, and drinking water availability,” a rural development ministry statement said.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (Gramin) on 20 November last year in Agra and set the target of completing 10 million new houses by 31 March 2019.

To ensure that the target of building these houses is met by 31 March 2018, the Rural Development ministry has collaborated  with state governments and taken many steps “including setting month-wise targets” for completion of houses.

States like Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal are among the best performing in terms of construction of new houses, the government statement said.

Edited from Mint by Debarghya Sil