Mangaluru, Jan 09, 2020: Housing Minister V. Somanna on Wednesday said the per-unit cost of houses being constructed under various housing schemes is likely to increase from the present Rs. 1.2 lakh to about Rs. 2.5 lakh. The Housing Department will also look at a realistic target of constructing 2 lakh houses per financial year from April 1, 2020, he said.
Speaking to presspersons here, Mr. Somanna said: “I have already urged Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa to increase the limit to Rs. 2.5 lakh and am certain that he will do so. The limit could at least be enhanced to Rs. 2 lakh.”
This hike is a must given the steep hike in cost of construction materials, he said, adding this move would also give a fillip to Union government’s ambition to provide housing for all in rural and urban areas by 2022.
Regretting the rot that had set in the department since the time he was in-charge there, Mr. Somanna said: “The inquiry that I ordered since I took over has helped unearth large-scale irregularities in housing targets with cowsheds, pig-stys, goat sheds being counted as dwelling units,” adding the government has withdrawn grants to around 7 lakh such houses.
The Minister said while grants to 5.95-lakh houses were withdrawn at the government level, grants to additional 1.05 lakh houses were stopped after a high-level inquiry by the Chief Secretary.
At the same time, the government has released Rs. 211 crore to help genuine beneficiaries in 173 Assembly constituencies, whose projects were locked out from the system for different reasons, by restoring them and releasing funds through respective ZPs.
Mr. Somanna said the department would introduce an app to help nodal officers monitor progress real time and blamed his predecessors for stopping practices introduced by him.
The Minister praised the resolve by officials in eliminating housing scheme frauds in their operational areas.