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PMAY: Corruption Brings Housing Construction to a Standstill in UP’s Village

Beneficiaries of PMAY in Purva village, Uttar Pradesh, live in half-built houses while facing corruption and threats.

Kallu, a resident of Purva Village of Mirza Janpath, Uttar Pradesh, unable to complete the construction of his house because the village pradhan demanded a bribe. Many families like Kallu’s were looking forward to moving into a new house under the benefits of Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana, but were left disappointed.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi envisioned ‘Housing for All’ by 2022. In order to achieve this objective, the Central Government launched an inclusive mission known as the “Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana(Gramin) – Housing for All”. The mission seeks to address the housing requirements for the citizens, especially the financially backward sections. The government spent Rs.91,710 crores on this scheme’s first phase, and according to the latest data from the Ministry of Rural Development it will spend Rs.76,500 crore to build 60 lakh houses in the second phase.

With so much money involved, the Prime Minister also said that the housing provision will be free from middlemen and corruption. But even after four years, the implementation in both rural and urban areas appears to be falling far behind its target, one of the main reasons being corruption.

“We are all illiterate, we don’t know to how to read and write. Now if he says put your thumb impression over here, we do it. It’s been so long, we still haven’t got the money”, said Meena Devi, from whom the village pradhan took money.

Because the village pradhan has siphoned off money received under the PMAY scheme, there is not enough money left to finish construction on the new houses in the village. In order to avoid trouble from legal authorities, he has furthermore threatened residents with arrest if they do not personally arrange for construction to be completed. Under such pressure, the residents have taken out loans with heavy interest rates from money lenders.

Nine families have gone into debt in order to complete construction. “We want to ask the government if they wanted to give us houses, then why stall us in this crisis with half the house built. It would have been better if the government had not given us any housing”, said resident Sant Kumari.

Community Correspondent Anita Bharti spoke to the village pradhan regarding this matter. In response to that, pradhan proudly dealt with corruption as a common phenomenon. He said there are a lot of other people who are taking bribes, so why should only he be held accountable for corruption? Nevertheless, people are distressed because of the corruption they have faced under the PMAY. They want to know where the money intended for building their new homes has gone.

Video by Community Correspondent Anita Bharti

Article by Grace Jolliffe, Member of VV Editorial Team.