Documents for free house sites will be distributed to beneficiaries in the “litigation-free areas.”

Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Jagan Mohan Reddy wearing a white shirt sitting at his deskFile Photo
news Housing Thursday, November 19, 2020 - 12:12

The Andhra Pradesh government has announced yet another date for launching its flagship housing scheme for the poor. The YSR Pedalandariki Illu (Housing for the poor) scheme was first scheduled to be launched in March on the occasion of Ugadi, and has been postponed several times since then, due to various reasons, including the pandemic and over legal issues over land acquisition. The state government has now announced that it will distribute documents for free house sites to the eligible people on December 25, in the “litigation-free areas.” 

"Housing sites will be allocated by providing the necessary documents. As many as 30.6 lakh beneficiaries have been identified across the state," said a senior government official, according to IANS. In a video conference on Wednesday, Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy directed District Collectors to complete the preparatory works to distribute housing sites, as well as for the house construction scheme. He also asked officials to take steps to vacate the stay orders issued by the High Court in certain areas, where the land acquisition process for the house sites has been contested. The Chief Minister instructed the officials to complete the entire land acquisition process and identification of plots by December 10, and geo-tag the houses by December 25. 

Construction work will also begin on December 25. In the first phase, about 15 lakh houses will be taken up with an expenditure of Rs 1.80 lakh per house, and these houses will be handed to the beneficiaries free of cost, according to an official statement. The first phase of construction is targeted to be completed by June 2022. In the second phase, the government aims to construct 13 lakh houses by June 2023. "This would boost the state's economy and further encourage employment in urban and rural areas," CM Jagan said. 

Earlier this week, a state-wide agitation was launched by the CPI (Communist Party of India) over a delay in allocating housing to beneficiaries under APTIDCO (Andhra Pradesh Township and Infrastructure Development Corporation Limited), the state level nodal agency for the Union government’s affordable housing scheme, called the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (PMAY). CPI leaders had alleged that the YSRCP government had neglected the construction and distribution of TIDCO houses out of a political grudge, as the scheme was started by the opposition Telugu Desam Party (TDP). 

Referring to the TIDCO housing, the Andhra government’s statement said that the previous TDP government had left a debt of Rs 3,200 crore for constructing 2,62,216 houses, of which 1,43,600 houses of 300 sq ft area, 44,300 houses with 365 sq ft area, and 74,300 houses with 430 sq ft area are under construction. “So far, the state government cleared Rs 1,200 crore debt and soon the rest will be cleared in two phases,” the statement said. 

Starting from December 23, the government will hold a week-long campaign asking the beneficiaries of TIDCO houses to choose between Chandrababu Naidu’s and Jagan’s housing scheme. On December 25, for those beneficiaries who choose Jagan’s scheme, “the government shall allocate the 300 sqft houses to the beneficiaries through the agreement of sale by paying just one rupee,” whereas for Naidu’s TIDCO scheme, the beneficiary has to pay an amount of Rs 3 lakh, with monthly instalments of Rs 3,000 for 20 years totalling the amount to Rs 7 lakh. The beneficiary will receive rights over the house rights only after the payments are completed. 

The government has decided to spend Rs 2,500 crore towards the infrastructure work of TIDCO houses, which has allegedly been delayed since the YSRCP came to power. “In order to complete the project in the next three years, the state government will be spending a total of Rs 9,550 crore,” the statement said. 

Read: CPI protests delay in affordable housing project in AP, calls for occupation of homes

IANS inputs 

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