After assuming power as the Chief Minister of AP, Jagan Mohan Reddy’s government’s actions have revealed the government’s real identity of being anti-poor. Under the previous government, NTR Housing Scheme was launched and was subsequently renamed as YSR Gruhanirmana Padakam (YSR Housing Scheme) and was launched by the finance minister Buggana Rajendranath Reddy on 12 July 2019, with an estimated expenditure of around 9,000 crores.
The previous government had sanctioned 29.52 lakh houses and close to 9 lakh units had been completed, with over 20.41 lakh houses under construction. Under the then CM N. Chandrababu Naidu housewarming function was done in 8 lakh houses and it became a model approach for the entire country whereas, since the YSRCP government assumed power in May of 2019, the completed houses have not been handed over to the beneficiaries.
The YSRCP government which is widely publicizing its plans to distribute housing sites for the beneficiaries has postponed the scheme thrice to date. Earlier, the government intended to distribute housing sites by 25 March 2020 then changed its date to 8 July 2020, once again postponed to 15 August 2020 and now Jagan Mohan Reddy during his recent interaction with District Collectors and Municipal Commissioners instructed to complete the allotment of TIDCO Houses by 20 December 2020. This instruction by Jagan Mohan Reddy could be a result of a series of protests staged by the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) with a slogan “Naa Illu, Naa Sontham” (My House My Right) in which leaders and cadre of Andhra Pradesh’s opposition party led the protests along with the beneficiaries who were suffering all over Andhra Pradesh.
Jagan Mohan Reddy intended to develop a transactional relationship with the voters with this housing patta distribution, however, ground inputs indicate a different scenario as beneficiaries are dissatisfied with the quality of the land which is being purchased for distribution. At many places, flood-prone lands have been identified and procured and most lands are far away from the residential areas and thus, lack proper road connectivity.
According to murmurs on the ground and in media circles, the YSRCP local leaders and revenue officials are involved in taking commissions and bribes from the poor landless people to grant them pattas. Various media reports have also mentioned that the YSRCP government and its leaders have procured lands not worth 7 lakh per acre at exaggerated prices ranging between 45 lakh per acre – 75 lakh per acre and are scamming the exchequer. AP Truth could not verify the veracity of this claim but these reports are serious in nature. The fact remains that poor landless, homeless citizens are being given pattas in far-off areas with a lack of connectivity to city centers and sometimes even in flood-prone areas.