Only 17% of govt housing for urban poor in Karnataka completed, says CAG

The CAG report on ''Housing Schemes for Urban Poor in Karnataka'' for the year 2022, was tabled in the Legislative Assembly on Tuesday, September 20.
Bengaluru buildings
Bengaluru buildings
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A Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) report stated that as of March 2021, only 17% of the government’s housing structures have been completed for the urban poor in Karnataka. The Housing Department has only completed 88,395 dwelling units (DUs), against the target of 5.17 lakh for the urban poor as of March 2021. During the ongoing Karnataka Assembly, a CAG report cited discrepancies in the implementation of the state's housing scheme.

Further, the report noted that as of March 2021, Affordable Housing in Partnership (AHP) and Beneficiary Led Individual House Construction (BLC) projects were taken up for only about 38%, that is, 5,17,531 beneficiaries out of the 13,71,592 prospective beneficiaries identified through a demand survey. It further said that the construction of 3,28,499 DUs was yet to commence as of March 2021, indicating that achieving the mission goal of ''Housing for All'' by 2022 was a difficult prospect.

The CAG report on ''Housing Schemes for Urban Poor in Karnataka'' for the year 2022, was tabled in the Legislative Assembly on Tuesday, September 20. As per the report, the Urban Local Bodies did not follow the procedures prescribed for conducting the survey for assessing the demand for housing. ''The improper survey carried the risk of exclusion of eligible beneficiaries, as only 13.72 lakh prospective beneficiaries were identified homeless as against 20.35 lakh projected in Karnataka Affordable Housing Policy (KAHP).'' Further pointing that out of 5.17 lakh beneficiaries approved under 2,472 projects, the report said only 3.43 lakh beneficiaries were attached after due validation using unique identification such as Aadhar number.

''This resulted in 206 beneficiaries who were attached under BLC vertical getting benefits under AHP verticals without validation. Non-validation of spouse details during attachment resulted in spouses of 21 BLC beneficiaries receiving benefits under AHP vertical,'' it said. The CAG report also notes that the selection of beneficiaries bypassing the prescribed procedures resulted in the extension of scheme benefits to ineligible beneficiaries such as those with an annual income of Rs 3 lakh and those already having pucca houses.

It said during the joint inspection audit it was noticed that 41 percent of the houses constructed under Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana-Urban (PMAY-U) were high-cost multi-storey buildings having carpet area of more than 30 square meters, underscoring the irregularities in the selection of beneficiaries. In AHP projects, there was a shortfall in aggregating financial resources as the Government of India withheld an amount of Rs 1,003.55 crore due to non-fulfillment of prescribed conditions and due to short collection beneficiary contribution and ULB share to the tune of Rs 8,360.78 crore.

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