The Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs (MHUA) has formed a committee to investigate the quality of houses built under the Rajiv Awas Yojana (RAY) during the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government, sources in MHUA said.
The RAY was functional between 2009 and 2014, as a Central housing scheme whose focus was to make urban cities slum free. The RAY has now been replaced by the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana-Urban (PMAY-Urban).
A source close to the MHUA told The Sunday Guardian: “All the houses built under the RAY will go through tough quality checks and in case they fail the checks, the contractors will be held responsible. The MHUA has also found that under the PMAY, third party quality monitoring agencies have not yet been appointed in many states and UTs. Therefore, the ministry has asked state governments across the country to appoint monitoring agencies soon.”
“As many as 45,711 houses that have been built under the RAY will undergo tough quality tests as there have been complaints that these houses are not safe and might be risky for living. Also, in states where the construction of houses under RAY has been completed or the project is underway, the Central Sanctioning and Monitoring Committee created for the Prime Minister’s housing scheme will monitor all the projects,” the same source cited above said.
According to a report of the MHUA, under RAY, as many as 170 projects are underway across the country. Under these 170 projects, almost 125,000 houses will be built to accommodate poor slum residents. Of these, 45,711 houses have been built and 24,234 people are also living in these houses. The rest of the houses are under construction.
Houses being built under the PMAY are being monitored using space and information technology. “Under the PMAY, right from identification of beneficiaries to the construction stages of houses to completion, each stage is being geo-tagged. The finished houses come complete with facilities like toilets, liquefied petroleum gas connection, electricity connection, and drinking water availability,” a senior ministry official told The Sunday Guardian.
The PMAY, introduced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 1 June 2015, aims at providing affordable housing to the urban poor by 2022. Under the PMAY, the government will provide homes to nearly 70 lakh families.