State wasted Rs 195.82 cr of Centre's housing project, says CAG report

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Thiruvananthapuram: The Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) found out in its audit report that the central assistance of Rs 195.82 crore was lost due to the lapses in the implementation of Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana in the state.

Kerala lost the amount as the project was not implemented time-bound during 2016-18. The Centre allotted fund for constructing 32,559 houses in 2016-17. But the state government allotted only 13,326 houses in this period.

Rs 121.90 crore was allocated as central fund during this period. However, the central assistance lapsed as the first phase of the project was not completed within the deadline, it is noted in the audit report.

There were several lapses in implementation of the project also. Selecting the beneficiaries and following the criteria were erroneous. Though the central project was to build 42,431 houses, only 16,101 houses were completed. The government tabled the audit report in the assembly.

The state had to allot land for the landless families. Due to the delay in the procedures, 75 families lost houses. 580 houses were constructed without permission of panchayat and Coastal Zone Management Authority.

Among the 75,709 families included in the list, 45,409 were not eligible for the scheme. According to the scheme, the local bodies should construct houses for bedridden patients and elderly people. As the local bodies did not do the same, 393 families lost house.

There was no facilities like toilet, drinking water, cooking gas and electricity in 275 houses. There were lapses in combining the scheme with other projects that offers these facilities.

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