Sonowal launches housing scheme for poor

Guwahati, Jan 19 (IANS) Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal on Thursday launched the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (PMAY) to provide a secure house to every rural family.

Sonowal formally launched the scheme at the Sarusojai Stadium here and said the initiative is a major step towards bringing a qualitative change in the lifestyle of the downtrodden people of Assam.

“India will emerge as a strong nation only if the poor are strengthened,” the Chief Minister said adding that the government intends to build about one million houses in the state under the scheme by 2022.

Sonowal also distributed sanction letters to some of the beneficiaries of the scheme.

The scheme proposes housing for all particularly in rural areas of the state with a target to complete 1,64,245 pucca houses in its first phase during 2016-17.

The unit cost of a house under the scheme is fixed at Rs 1.3 lakh, which is also a significant increase compared to what was given earlier under the scheme. The government has also extended the size of the individual housing units under the scheme from the existing 20 sq.m under the Indira Awas Yojana (IAY) to 25 sq.m.

The Chief Minister said efforts were being made to stop all anomalies in selection of beneficiaries and construction of houses under the scheme in the state.

“Strong monitoring mechanism for implementation of the scheme has been developed in the state and the government has also appointed a nodal officer in each Gaon Panchayat to monitor implementation of the scheme,” the Chief minister said.

“The selection of beneficiaries has been made through a completely transparent process considering the socio-economic census 2011 data and validating those through the Gram Sabha. There is also a provision of Bank loan up to Rs 70,000, if the beneficiary desires to further expand the house,” Sonowal added.

Union Minister for Panchayat and Rural Development Narendra Singh Tomar, who attended the inaugural programme as guest of honour, assured the state government that the Centre will ensure flow of adequate fund for all rural development schemes.

–IANS

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