In the last two financial years between 2015 and 2017, the state government has achieved only 25 to 30 per cent of the set target for rural housing for the landless and poor. The rural housing for poor is being pursued under the banner of Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojna (Gramin). The state government has therefore decided to fast track the projects to achieve the target of shelter for all by year 2021.
The centre has set a deadline of 2022 for all states to make shelter for all a reality. In 2016-17, the state government planned to construct 1.71 lakh houses for the homeless and landless living in the rural parts of Maharashtra. Officials in the government indicated that till March 2017, the number of houses constructed was not more than 25,000. Whereas, in the year 2015-16, as against 1,57,260 houses set as target, 29,229 houses were completed with an expenditure of Rs 439 crore. The total amount allocated was Rs 859.94 crore.
A senior officer explained that the failure to meet 100 per cent target was on account of procedural delays. Under the shelter for all by year 2022, there are two schemes, for rural and urban areas, with financial assistance from the Centre.
Apart from these two schemes, Maharashtra government has taken up its own housing scheme which is segment specific to provide shelter to dalits/tribals who have no land or house. The overall tally in housing sector for the poor between 2012-13 and 2015-16 shows that against a target of 6,32,402 dwellings 4,03,938 were built with a total expenditure of Rs 5028.66 crore.
This means 2,28,504 dwellings could not be built as was envisaged in the last four years. Sources in the ministry of finance and rural development acknowledged that there have been reports of a gap between the plan and its implementation varying from 40 to 70 per cent across districts.
However, officials revealed that after the Modi government came to power at the Centre, it was mandatory to provide funds to the accounts of the beneficiary. The process was to ensure the funds were not misused and also the deserving got the house. The PMAY (Rural) makes provision of a subsidy of Rs 1.20 lakh to individuals without home or land in villages. Whereas, Rs 1.30 lakh is provided for beneficiaries living in hilly and naxal areas of rural Maharashtra.
While reckoning the challenges in the housing sectors both urban and rural, Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis intends to raise the project target and set completion dateline every three months. Compared to rural areas, the urban areas under PMAY fared better in terms of implementation.
Earlier, at a function, Fadnavis in presence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Nagpur had said, “The state government intends to attain housing for all in both urban and rural areas by year 2021.”
Almost 2.50 lakh houses across the state are under progress in various stages. The state government has got the nod from the Centre for 46 projects under PMAY (Urban) which was launched in 2015-16. Apart from housing, it has to mandate every family gets electricity, in-built toilet and access to roads.
Under this scheme, 46 projects across 22 cities will construct 1.19 lakh dwellings for economically weaker sections. The cities include Solapur, Nashik, Amravati, Aurangabad, Nagpur, Akola, Pune and cities in Konkan (region).