No proper monitoring and software bugs remain the biggest hurdle for the scheme, alleged the AAP spokesperson.
Aam Admi Party (AAP) held a press conference today at Press Club of Bangalore and alleged that Housing Minister V Somanna was “flirting with the lives of poor and middle class people who were not their own.”
Jagdish V., media conveyor of AAP said, “In November 2017, the then Chief Minister Siddaramaiah announced his plan to build one lakh apartments in Bangalore. After that, the Congress, JDS and BJP governments have ruled the state, but not a single house was given to the beneficiaries in five years. It is clear that the three parties have little concern for the poor and have no commitment to implement the plan adequately.”
He added that 48,614 beneficiaries had been selected during Siddaramaiah’s tenure—all with annual income less than Rs 87,000. However, in May 2021, the BJP government raised the income threshold to Rs 3 lakh. They also introduced a rule that applicants would have to pay Rs 1 lakh while applying. Only 5,000 people were able to meet both criteria.
The project software has a bug which redirects the applicants towars choosing homes in other areas than the one they have selected, he added. “If anyone questions this, they are excluded from the scheme and the money is returned,” he said.
AAP president of Bangalore city, Mohan Dasari said, “The government should provide houses for the 48,614 people who have applied during the Siddaramaiah period as well as those who have applied during the BJP. Moreover, 27 lakh people lost their homes in the state from 2018 to 2021, according to government statistics. Only 47 of these 5 lakhs has been earmarked for building a house for families only. The victims are living in a tent due to V. Somanna’s neglect.”
In 2018, the chief minister said that those who have been residing in Bengaluru for over five years, do not have a home and those falling below the poverty line would be considered for the scheme.
Each home would cost Rs5.50 lakh. Beneficiaries falling under the general category would get a subsidy of Rs2.7 lakh, while those falling under the scheduled caste and scheduled tribe category would get Rs3.7 lakh, the chief minister said.
Later in 2019, Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa announced the construction of one lakh houses for the poor . The homes would have been in addition to another one lakh houses for the urban poor announced by Siddaramaiah government almost two years ago under the Chief Minister’s One-lakh Bengaluru Housing Scheme.
The BJP spokesperson chose not to comment on this issue. But according to a recent report (hyperlink the TOI report), Rajiv Gandhi Housing Corporation Limited (RGHCL) has received 34,632 applications seeking subsidised housing benefits in Bengaluru Urban district under the chief minister’s Bengaluru Multi-Storey Housing Scheme. Of the applicants, 3,060 have already paid an initial deposit of Rs one lakh as beneficiary contribution.
AAP is preparing for the upcoming election and will release the AAP election manifesto soon for the state.