Hyderabad: The Congress party has demanded that the Telangana Government first complete construction of double bedroom houses for poor before constructing new buildings for Secretariat and Assembly. In a democracy, addressing the needs of poor is more important than providing comfort to legislators, who are public servants, TPCC official spokesperson Syed Nizamuddin has said.
Speaking to mediapersos at Gandhi Bhavan on Friday, Syed Nizamuddin said of 2,80,616 sanctioned double bedroom houses for poor in 31 districts, only 16,370 units have been completed so far. While a few thousand more units are in different stages of construction, work was not even started in a majority of sites due to lack of funds, he said. Over 22 lakh families in the State do not own a house. They are living in rented houses, huts or dwellings. “Under this scenario, it is nothing but waste of public money to go construction of new buildings for Assembly and Secretariat,” he said.
Nizamuddin pointed out the cost for each unit of a double bedroom house was originally estimated to be Rs. 3.5 lakh in 2014. It escalated to Rs. 7.5 lakh by 2017. If delayed further, the cost will again go up and it would become unviable for the government to complete them. He also reminded that in April 2018, then Municipal Administration Minister K. T. Ramarao had promised that besides sanctioned 2.80 lakh houses, another three lakh houses would be constructed at a cost of Rs 18,000 crore. “The State Government must decide whether comfortable seating or other facilities for 120 MLAs and 40 MLCs are important or providing a roof to nearly 10,000 poor families is more important. With the same Rs. 100 crore, proposed to be spent for the new Assembly, nearly 1300 to 1500 double room units can be constructed with an average cost of Rs. 7-7.5 lakh per unit. Similarly, instead of wasting Rs. 500 crore on the new Secretariat building, same money can be used to construct nearly 6,000-7,000 2BHK units,” he said.
Nizamuddin announced that his party would launch a massive campaign on “Housing for Poor First – Secretariat, Assembly Next”. He also said the Congress was planning to observe ‘Day for the Homeless’ on June 27. HCCC Minorities Department Chairman Sameer aliullah and TPCC Secretary K. Srinivas were also present.