Based on the observations of the central team, Union rural development secretary Nagendra Nath Sinha, in a recent letter to chief secretary Suresh Chandra Mohapatra, has suggested actions like recovering money from ineligible beneficiaries and to lodge FIR against erring government officials for lapses.
The team of the rural development ministry visited Odisha from February 9 and February 11 to inquire into complaints of irregularities in implementation of the central norms lodged by BJP MPs from the state. It also detected irregularities like houses shown completed on AwaasSoft (the designated portal) but found incomplete on the ground, sanction of houses to both father and son and construction of houses by beneficiaries on government land.
Stating that quality of construction of houses was very poor, Sinha asked the chief secretary to improve the system of monitoring and administrative supervision to ensure quality houses and assess the quality of all houses constructed under the central scheme so far.
The Centre suggested actions like show cause against district officials for not taking timely action and tone up the administrative machinery to avoid such irregularities. Though the Centre has sought an action taken report from the state government over irregularities, official sources said it is yet to share it with the Centre.
The Union secretary’s letter on irregularities in implementation of PMAY-G came to the fore after Union rural development minister Narendra Singh Tomar shared the report with Sundargarh BJP MP and former Union minister Jual Oram.
Oram said the central teams report has exposed the irregularities and corruption in implementation of PMAY-G in Odisha.
The Centre and the state government are at loggerheads over implementation of rural housing schemes for past several years. In March, the Centre asked the state government not to co-brand PMAY-G houses with the logo of Biju Pucca Ghar Yojana (BPGY). The state government justified use of BPGY logo stating that the PMAY-G scheme is being implemented with fund sharing pattern of 60:40 between the Centre and the state. The state government is yet to comment on the findings of the central team.