40% JNNURM houses vacant, 20% sold or rented

By Accommodation Times News Service

Over two years after the government handed over the keys of nearly 8,000 low-cost houses developed under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM) housing scheme to the beneficiaries, a staggering 40% of the houses are still lying unoccupied.

This, even as nearly 20% of the houses have been put on rent or sold off by the beneficiaries, while the remaining 40% are occupied by persons that the government officials are yet to identify. These are the startling findings of a recent sample survey carried out by the Greater Visakhapatnam Municipal Corporation (GVMC) department of urban community development (UCD) on the 7,964 houses handed over to beneficiaries.

The GVMC is planning to take up a comprehensive survey soon to identify the occupants of the remaining 40% houses to find out if they are genuine or bogus beneficiaries. “The sample survey revealed that most of the houses were not occupied by the people who were handed over the keys. We have decided to conduct a comprehensive survey by visiting the houses during morning hours to check the occupants and if they are genuine beneficiaries. We will also serve legal notices to the bogus occupants on the spot itself. However, all this will take two to three months,” UCD project director, MNA Patrudu

The cost of each housing unit ranges from Rs 1.65lakh to Rs 1.81lakh, depending on the size of the house. The beneficiaries of JNNURM low-cost housing project are selected based on three criteria: urban poor, rehabilitation and relocation. However, it was learnt that the reason for most beneficiaries shying away from occupying the houses was the lack of basic infrastructure like water, power, drainage, streetlights and even recreation facilities.

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