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Karnataka may ease rules for affordable housing

The idea is to enable people to plan and build their own homes under the Centre's PM Awas Yojana without encountering the routine bureaucratic hurdles if the govt were to implement the scheme.

, ET Bureau|
Updated: Oct 09, 2019, 11.00 AM IST
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BENGALURU: Karnataka is working on its own policy to allow potential homeowners to build multistorey residential apartments through their own societies.

The idea is to enable people to plan and build their own homes under the Centre's PM Awas Yojana (PMAY) without encountering the routine bureaucratic hurdles if the government were to implement the scheme. The Centre has favourably responded to Karnataka's novel idea, and asked its housing department to try it out on a pilot basis. The department hit upon the idea after its officials interacted with a group of potential beneficiaries in north Karnataka. About 56 tribal families showed interest to form societies and build their house as they thought it was less cumbersome. Karnataka is among several states that have been slow in implementing the PMAY -- a critical programme to counter the rising homelessness in the country.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has targeted to ensure that everyone lives in his/her own home by 2022 benefiting from the PMAY scheme.

Sources in the chief minister's office said the proposed policy would allow beneficiaries to plan and design apartments according to their preference, and cut red-tape and corruption.

Government housing projects are infamous for corruption with sections of politicians, contractors and officials creating hurdles.

A senior official in Bengaluru involved in drafting of the policy said the government will soon notify draft guidelines for feedback from the stakeholders. An official closely connected with the process told ET: “When we talk about beneficiary-led construction, ideally there should not be a hassle from contractors. Beneficiaries should have the flexibility to choose the house design, construction agency and engineers of their choice. Also, often, unnecessary delay happens in tendering and engineers making the estimate. This can be avoided if the beneficiaries take up the housing projects on their own through a cooperative society.” Most of the houses built under PMAY (U) have G+3 units. It is learnt that the idea, therefore, is to allow about 12 families to come together, form a society, choose the construction agency of their choice and go ahead with the work. Funds from the government will be released in phases. The government will give a project-monitoring consultant to help beneficiaries and to check the housing quality.

Affordable housing has not picked up in Karnataka, as in many other states. Of the 3.55 lakh dwelling units sanctioned under the project since 2015 when the Government of India launched the project, only 11,306 houses have been completed so far in the state and very few have been handed over to the beneficiaries.

The central government has set a target of 2022 to provide a house to every houseless family. PMAY focuses on providing low-cost houses for the homeless residing in urban areas in the country.

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