As Andhra Pradesh Government’s much awaited YSR Housing Scheme gets postponed once again, the principal opposition party raises questions on the unoccupied houses from the previous regime.
Jagan Mohan Reddy’s much proclaimed pet project YSR housing got postponed yet again. Commemorating the 71st birth anniversary of his father YS Rajasekhara Reddy, the Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister intended to distribute housing pattas for the poor. The government says it intends to distribute 30 lakh housing pattas in the next five years. The grand project is postponed for the second time in five months.
The YSRCP government first announced its plans to distribute housing sites for the poor on March 25, 2020. Ahead of local body polls, the Jagan Mohan Reddy administration has exhibited urgency in the distribution of these house sites expecting to reap the benefits in subsequent elections. While the land acquisition for the government housing sites was still in process, the government’s initiative could not be furthered because of the election code of conduct. It further got delayed due to the lockdown following the corona crisis.
The YSR Housing Scheme was first announced by the finance minister Buggana Rajendranath Reddy on July 12, 2019. The total cost of the scheme is Rs. 9786 Crores. YSR Housing Scheme list is divided into three housing schemes – YSR Urban Housing Scheme, the YSR Economic Weaker Sections Housing scheme, and YSR Gramin Housing scheme.
A petition challenging government order 44 is expected to come for hearing at the Supreme Court’s bench. With chances of apex court’s verdict altering government’s plans, the AP government postponed the housing event to the August 15. The Jagan Mohan Reddy will now distribute the pattas of housing for the poor on the occasion of Independence Day.
President of the Telugu Desam Party Nara Chandrababu Naidu had previously accused the Jagan Mohan Reddy government of indulging in a land scam in the name of housing for the poor. The opposition party now raised questions against the unoccupied housing complexes in the State.
Post bifurcation, the first government in the new State under TDP, has aimed at providing housing for 20 lakh people in the State.
The previous government has taken up construction of 20.18 lakh houses with a Project cost of Rs.34632.48 Crores under NTR Rural Housing Programme. During 2014-19, 7.70 Lakh houses were completed with an expenditure of Rs.9038.52 Crores. In addition to the above, the government has taken up 5.68 lakh houses with a Project cost of Rs.43461.23 Crores under the Urban Housing Program through APTIDCO.
Despite the constraints of the deficit budget and other welfare initiatives, the government under the Chandrababu Naidu had claimed to have successfully built over eight lakh houses in the State and distributed them. Another six lakh houses were either in their last phase construction or left unoccupied owing to the election code ahead of 2019 general elections, subsequently left vacant.
Speaking at a press conference, the TDP MLC Ashok Babu criticised the Jagan administration for deliberately delaying distribution of six lakh houses to the poor beneficiaries for over 15 months. The registered beneficiaries have paid Rs. 25000 each for the housing, waiting for the remaining amount to be adjusted through bank loans and State subsidy. The Telugu Desam Party leaders have demanded the government to pay Rs. 1100 Crore dues to the beneficiaries and contractors of these houses.
The opposition party also alleged the ruling party leaders of altering the finalised lists of beneficiaries, removing the names based on their loyalty to TDP.