1,360 subsidized houses in Kochi
The poor in the district who receive financial help from the government for construction of houses are often unable to complete them because they want larger homes.
There are several reasons like the lack of availability of suitable land, prohibitive cost of land, construction material and labour that stops the poor from realising their dream of owning a house, the obsession with large homes dig into their finances resulting in a high number of incomplete projects. This was revealed during a presentation by Life Mission during a meet to draw up a comprehensive district plan held on Thursday in Kakkanad.
The construction of the houses, which began several years ago, were undertaken through schemes like Indira Awaas Yojana, EMS Housing Scheme and those offered by government departments like fisheries and SC/ST welfare. As of now there are 1,360 incomplete houses in the district. In some cases, even after 10 years, they have been unable to complete the work.
Life Mission provides up to Rs four lakh to beneficiaries of these schemes to enable them to complete the construction. However, they found that many of them went beyond the mandated construction area. “Many beneficiaries constructed foundations for buildings of 1,000 to 1,200 sq ft. But they found it difficult to mobilize funds and this forced them to stop work midway. 10 to 15% of the total 1,360 houses could not be completed due to the desire for large houses,” said a Life Mission official.
With just three months more left for the financial year to end, Life Mission officials are struggling hard to complete construction of these houses. Beneficieries who had stoppd construction due to financial crunch are hopeful that they will get more funds from the Life Mission. “If one beneficiary availed 50% of Rs one lakh aid years ago and had to stop the construction of house midway due to paucity of money, she will get Rs 2 lakh under Life Mission. There are also people who divert financial aid for some other purposes like for medical treatment, marriage etc. Further aid would not be given to beneficiaries except when circumstances forced them to divert the money for medical treatment,” he said.