Jharkhand cabinet approves free housing scheme for 800k poor families - Hindustan Times
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Jharkhand cabinet approves free housing scheme for 800k poor families

By, Ranchi
Oct 18, 2023 09:50 PM IST

The scheme, known as ‘Abuaa Awas Yojna’, would be fully funded by the state government and implemented over three financial years beginning in the current fiscal (2023-24), the officials said.

The Jharkhand cabinet approved a housing scheme to provide three-room pucca homes to an estimated 800,000 poor families dwelling in the rural areas of the state on Wednesday, officials familiar with the developments said,

The Jharkhand cabinet approved a housing scheme to provide three-room pucca homes to an estimated 800,000 poor families. (ANI)
The Jharkhand cabinet approved a housing scheme to provide three-room pucca homes to an estimated 800,000 poor families. (ANI)

The scheme, known as ‘Abuaa Awas Yojna’, would be fully funded by the state government and implemented over three financial years beginning in the current fiscal (2023-24), the officials said.

“Under the scheme, the homeless beneficiaries in rural areas would get a house with three rooms plus a kitchen constructed on a 31 square metre area. Each beneficiary would get 2 lakh each. The government has fixed target of providing homes to around 800,000 families across three financial years,” cabinet secretary Vandana Dadel told reporters after the meeting chaired by chief minister Hemant Soren.

According to the cabinet secretary, 200,000 beneficiaries would be covered in the current fiscal, 350,000 in 2024-25, and 250,000 would benefit in 2025-26.

Meanwhile, officials said the scheme is expected to spend around 16,320 crore over the three financial years.

Parameters to identify beneficiaries have been put in place, which include homeless persons, those living in kutcha houses, members of PVTG, bonded labourers rescued by the government, and families who have remained uncovered under any housing scheme of the Centre and state, they added.

The officials further said the scheme would be funded by the state government and run separately from the centre-run PM Awas Yojna.

“Each beneficiary under the Abuaa Awas Yojna would get 2 lakh each, higher than the 1.2 lakh to 1.3 lakh granted under the PM Awas Yojna (rural) for a 2-room plus kitchen home. Till now, 1.6 million people have been given houses under PM Awas Yojna in the state,” one of the officials said.

Addressing reporters after the cabinet meeting, chief minister Hemant Soren described the decision as ‘historic’.

“Every cabinet of this alliance government is important, especially for the poor. But today’s cabinet was historic as we would be providing houses to lots of poor from our own sources. We would be providing bigger houses as compared to those given under the PM Awas Yojna. We are a poor state with a big population struggling to get two meals a day. Therefore, we are providing them schemes which take care of all three -- roti (food), kapda (clothing) and makan (housing),” said Soren.

Providing 3-room houses was a poll promise of Hemant Soren-led ruling Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM).

The state government has repeatedly accused the Centre of not approving proposals to give houses to around 800,000 eligible people under the PM Awas scheme in rural areas.

Reacting to the development, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) spokesperson Praful Shahdeo said the scheme was bound to fail “as their other such populist schemes”.

“The record of delivery of schemes of this government is already in the public domain. They had announced to give 25 per litre subsidy on petrol. What happened to that scheme? Not even 0.1 per cent of people have benefitted. This government is in the habit of announcing populist schemes when it gets cornered. The JMM had promised to give 3-room homes as an electoral promise. What took them four years to announce this scheme? As far as the allegation against Centre is concerned, how come the PM Awas scheme is successful in other states but has problems in Jharkhand? This is because they do not provide a utilisation certificate,” said Shahdeo.

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