New Delhi, Dec 31 Union minister Hardeep Singh Puri has requested Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal to intervene in the issue of vacant houses in Delhi and get an action plan prepared to allot them to the poor.
In a letter to the chief minister recently, Puri said all-out efforts were being made to provide houses to all poor in urban areas and so, “leaving completed houses un-alloted to eligible beneficiaries or keeping the houses incomplete is a waste of national resources”.
He noted that the housing and urban affairs secretary had earlier written to the Delhi chief secretary, requesting for an action plan for utilising all completed/incomplete and unoccupied houses constructed under Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM) by March 31, 2018.
However, a response is awaited, Puri said.
“Since no progress has been made in this regard so far, I would request your personal intervention to get an action plan prepared to complete and allot the houses constructed under JNNURM to eligible beneficiaries under that scheme or Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (Urban),” Puri added.
JNNURM was a massive city-modernisation scheme launched by the previous UPA government in 2005. However, it was replaced by the Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation (AMRUT) after the NDA government came to power in 2014.
Puri also referred to a media report that said nearly 26,000 flats built for the poor remained vacant in the absence of a uniform rehabilitation policy in Delhi.
“I’m informed that the vacant houses mentioned in the news report pertain to the houses built under the scheme of Basic Services to Urban Poor (BSUP) of JNNURM in Delhi.
“I’ve been informed that 16 BSUP projects involving central assistance of Rs 1163.04 crore for construction of 55,424 houses were sanctioned for Delhi under JNNURM,” Puri said.
Out of these, 31,424 have been constructed and only 2,201 houses have been allotted so far as per information available in the ministry, he said.
He said the issue of vacant houses constructed under JNNURM in Delhi has been raised by members of Parliament, parliamentary committees, media and public on regular basis.
The Union minister said it was also clarified at various meetings that identifying beneficiaries and allotment of houses constructed in Delhi under JNNURM to the identified beneficiary is the Delhi government’s responsibility.