Andhra govt speeds up mega housing scheme for 30L BPL families

Amaravati:┬áDespite the financial pressures brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic, Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy is speeding up the groundwork to deliver one of his most ambitious poll promises — housing for 30 lakh below the poverty line (BPL) families of the state by 2024.

Scheduled to begin from August 26 this year, the first phase of the massive ‘Pedalandariki Illu’ or ‘housing for all the poor’ scheme is expected to be completed by 2021. The project is part of the Chief Minister’s poll promises made to the people during the course of his 3,000-km long padayatra when he was in the opposition in Andhra Pradesh.

“The government has decided to first provide the house sites to the beneficiaries. Therefore, we have acquired 44,000 acres of land, both from the government and private persons. More than Rs 7,000 crore has already been spent. Unless the basic infrastructure is available, people will not be able to live in those areas.

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“Therefore, we are currently in the process of providing infrastructure like land leveling, approach roads, electricity, water etc. at about 15,000 layouts,” Ajay Jain, Principal Secretary, Housing Department, said on Tuesday.

The AP government has earmarked Rs 90,000 crore for the programme which has now been scaled up from the original 25 lakh homes to 30 lakh homes. The government is spending Rs 15,000 crore on acquiring land and creating infrastructure. So far, Rs 7,000 crore has been spent on acquiring 62,000 acres of land for the project.

“This is a beneficiary-led construction and each house would cost us Rs 2.5 lakh. All these houses will be individual houses measuring 288 sq ft to 300 sq ft each. They will be constructed following energy efficient practices. As a result, the temperature inside the houses will be 3-4 degrees less compared to the outside temperature. We have tied up with BEE and GOI in this regard,” Jain explained.

In the first phase starting August 2020, 15 lakh houses are planned to be constructed, while work on the remaining houses will begin from August 2021.

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