An elderly couple, waiting for the allotment of government funds for building a house for over a year, has been forced to live in their neighbour’s toilet.
Lakshminarasamma and Obalappa, who are landless farmhands, were granted an Indira House by the gram panchayat at Kadapalakere village in Pavagadataluk one-and-a-half-years back.
But they have so far received only Rs1 from the government for constructing the house. Panchayat Development Officer Kishore Naik says that the requisite amount could not be disbursed due to a “technical problem,” and that the issue will be addressed soon.
The couple, belonging to the backward Kadugolla community, falls in the Below Poverty Line income group. Thrilled with the prospect of constructing a new home under the AmbedkarAwasYojana, they demolished their dilapidated house and even laid the foundation for the one bedroom-and-kitchen (BHK) unit.
Their son Subbaraya, who sells buttermilk at KR Market in Bengaluru, contributed some money to help his parents lay the foundation of the building. They also raised some hand loans, and finished the foundation work at an estimated cost of Rs 45,000 with the hope that the amount would soon be released by the government, says Naveen, a relative..
However, only Rs 1 has reached them so far. PDO KishoreNaik admitted that except the Rs 1, which was released three months ago, no amount has been given to them so far.“The house was granted under the AmbedkarAwasYojna and there was a technical problem. Now we have reported it to the Rajiv Gandhi Rural Housing Corporation Limited (RGRHCL),” he said.
The housing scheme involves payment of Rs1.60 lakh for building the house, which is released in a phased manner, starting with Rs 45,000 that is given for laying the foundation during the first phase. The subsequent instalments are released after GPS images are submitted to the authorities to show the extent of work that has been completed.
The couple is now living in a toilet in a neighbour’s house that was constructed under the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan. They place a wooden slab on the commode to sleep. But now, the neighbours, the Narasamma family, has started asking them to vacate that as well, compounding their crisis-ridden situation.
The TalukPanchayat Executive Officer (EO), Narasimhamurthy, says that the PDO had reported the issue to the RGRHCL, along with the GPS image of the foundation laid, and that the funds would be released shortly.
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