Keonjhar: Even as the central government has envisioned housing for all by 2022, large-scale irregularities have come to the fore in Pradhanmantri Awas Yojana (PMAY) in Juanga-dominated areas of Keonjhar. Corruption has reportedly defeated the purpose of the scheme for the poor tribals, a report said.
Reports said, Juanga tribals live in hilly and remote Kharab village in Pithagola panchayat. Many poor families were included in the PMAY scheme, but surprisingly their houses have remained incomplete. In certain cases, construction of houses has stopped at plinth level.
The housing funds of tribals have allegedly been misappropriated. Amid allegations of irregularities, a state-level delegation of the BJP visited the village and took stock of the irregularities. The tribals were found to be living in miserable condition in shanties.
The delegation comprising Satyabrata Panda, Ranjit Thakur and Sonali Sahu talked to tribal families about the status of their houses and complaints thereof.
After taking stock of the ground situation, Sonali Sahu said,”Lakhs of rupees have been bungled in the name of housing to the tribal.”
Maheswar Sahu, vice president of the Rashtriya Krushak Morcha, demanded an investigation into the alleged scam. “This is a big scam. The tribals have been duped. No houses were built, but their funds were misappropriated” he lamented.
The tribals expressed their displeasure before the delegation over their incomplete houses.
Local leader Radhakant Mohant said the houses of the Juanga tribals were left incomplete, but surprisingly the bills of the incomplete houses were cleared by the authorities concerned.
“The role of the people’s representatives and officials at the panchayat and the block levels is suspicious”, he added.
The leaders demanded a Crime Branch investigation into the housing scheme for the poor tribals so that those involved in the scam will be caught.
Social activists observed that misappropriation of housing funds has deprived many poor tribal beneficiaries of their housing rights. This is how gullible tribals are exploited in remote pockets, they pointed out, saying there is a need for an investigation and action against the guilty.