In order to ensure that housing benefits go to the needy under the Prime Minister’s rural housing schemes, a Digital Delivery System (DDS), a digital monitoring unit, will be launched soon by the Ministry of Rural Development.
“The main aim of the proposed DDS is to ensure fair functioning of the last mile digital delivery. Allegations of housing facilities under the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana-Gramin (PMAY-G) not reaching the needy have been cropping up and to avoid this, the proposed DDS project will be launched,” a senior official of the Ministry of Rural Development said.
“The DDS will scrutinise the names of the applicants for the housing scheme sent by the Gram Panchayat, on multiple parameters. The DDS will match the details of the applicants with the applicants’ details available in the Unique Identification Data (UID). By this, the government will ensure that the applicants are genuine. Also, there are other parameters for assessing of a fair distribution of housing in the rural areas as well, and they will be electronically monitored by the DDS system,” the same official cited above said.
Additionally, faced with a massive shortfall in the construction of houses under the Prime Minister’s rural housing scheme, the Ministry of Rural Development has devised a time-bound mason training programme to speed up construction in rural areas.
The ministry has an ambitious target of building around 10 million houses by March 2019 under the housing scheme launched on 20 November 2016. The scheme was earlier called the Indira Awaas Yojana.
According to Ministry of Rural Development data on housing, during the period 2012-13 to 2015-16, on an average, 1.2 million houses were built annually. The target to construct 10 million houses in the three years beginning 2016-17 means that the government will have to build at least 3.3 million houses a year. The target for 2016-17 is around 7.7 million which includes past shortfall of around 3.3 million houses in addition to this year’s 4.4 million. As the scheme was launched in November 2016, these 7.7 million houses will be built by October 2017.
“The government is, however, confident of meeting the target,” said a senior official from the ministry. The ministry has also appointed programme management units to monitor the whole process at all block levels of the state. Besides this, the government has also inducted a “Tag officer” called Awaas Sahayak who will act as a motivator or facilitator for timely construction of houses,” the same official cited above said.