No Houses for the Poor

The Kanshi Ram Shahri Garib Awas Yojna was one of the ambitious projects of former Uttar Pradesh (UP) Chief Minister Mayawati. The main aim of this scheme was to provide housing facilities to people living below the poverty line in cities. Under this scheme, it was planned that 1,500 houses were to be constructed in Sultanpur district of UP as per 24 July government order (GO) no. 4328/9-5-08-133/02 June. The District Urban Development Authority (DUDA) officers in the district were asked to implement the scheme. After the GO, applications were invited for the allotment of houses in the area. People who were not eligible under the scheme had already laid covetous eyes on the allotments. They were trying their best to get a house through fake documents. The then Chief Secretary of UP, Balwinder Singh, gave clear guidelines that only people who fulfill the required conditions will be eligible under the scheme.
First preference was to be given to widows, second preference to physically handicapped people (where physical incapacity was not to be less than 40 per cent) and then preference was to be given to poor people who did not have houses in the city. Only those people had to be benefitted by this scheme who either owned a Below Poverty Line (BPL) card or a certificate of income below the poverty line. The certificate had to be duly attested by the District Magistrate. The applicant ought not to be owning a housing plot. He/she had to be living in an urban area, his/her name had to be in the voters list, and would have to possess a ration card or a voter identity card. It was also mentioned in the GO that preference would be given to Schedule Castes, Schedule Tribes and Other Backward Classes. After this GO the applicant also had to give an undertaking that he/she did not hold any house in the city.

The irregularities under the Kanshi Ram Shahri Garib Awas Yojna came to light after a Right to Information (RTI) application was filed by an organisation asking for the details of beneficiaries under the scheme. After this RTI, the irregularities in the scheme started to come out in public.

Irregularities in this scheme came out after a Right to Information (RTI) application was filed by an organisation asking for the details of the beneficiaries under the scheme. In the beginning, the officials tried to avoid the matter, but later under orders from the State Information Secretary, DUDA officials were forced to look into the matter. The information that came out through the State Information Secretary revealed that before the allotment of houses an 11 member committee was formed by the then District Magistrate.
The allotment of houses was done by a Selection Committee. So how did ineligible people get houses under the scheme? Why were the documents not checked thoroughly? After the information from RTI, some applications were marked. When these marked applications were checked by the District Supply Officer, the scam in the allotment of houses started to come out. Ineligible people who had rigged the scheme got unnerved and tried to buy out the person who got the information under the RTI. When he was not tempted by the offer his life was threatened. When the District Magistrate, Pinky Jowel, made enquires, after getting information about the scam, she found that 34 houses were allotted to ineligible candidates. The allotment of all the 34 houses was cancelled immediately. It has been more than a year since the cancellation, but the houses are still occupied by the same ineligible people. According to sources, the departmental list shows that in 25 per cent of the allotments the names of the beneficiaries were different from the list. Twenty per cent of the houses were allotted to ineligible candidates in the name of such eligible people who were unaware of the scheme. So far the names of 10 government employees who had been allotted these houses have also come out. If the case is investigated properly then the list could be even longer. Five hundred such people have got houses who already own a house in the city. Some of the richest and most influential people of the city have also occupied some of these houses. In 300 instances such people who are not from the district have also been allotted a house. Complainants are disclosing that if proper investigation is carried out, it would be found that nearly 100 people who are beneficiaries of the Indira Awas Yojna in villages have also been allotted houses under this scheme. Not only this, the colony built under the scheme has also become a centre of criminal activities in the city. The question is, what was the motive to allot the houses without proper verification? Was the Selection Committee also involved in the improper allocation of houses? It is said that in the illegal allotment of houses mediators were taking Rs. 20,000 to 50,000 as a fee.

List of Officers and Members of the Selection Committee

  •  Shankar Lal Pandey—District Magistrate
  •  P.N. Dubey—Chief Revenue Officer
  •  Ashish Shrivastava—Assistant Block Engineer (PWD)
  •  S.N. Kushwaha—Assistant Engineer ( Uttar Pradesh Housing Development Corporation)
  •  Mushir Ahmad—Executive Officer (Municipal Corporation)
  •  G.P. Kushwaha—Chief Medical Officer
  •  Aatma Ram Mishra—Assistant Treasury Officer
  •  P.A. Monga—Executive Engineer (Electricity Department)
  •  S.P. Singh—Assistant Engineer (Electricity Department)
  •  Girish Kumar—Naib Tehsildar (Revenue Department)
  •  Teerth Raj—Project Officer (District Urban Development Authority).

Extra Houses

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600 extra houses were also allotted near the ARTO Office on the following dates:

  •  22 May 2010—156 Houses
  •  25 May 2010—132 Houses
  •  29 May 2010—120 Houses
  •  9 June 2010—132 Houses
  •  29 June 2010—24 Houses
  •  31 August 2010—36 Houses.

Number of Alloted Houses

  •  11 January 2010—200 Houses
  •  24 February 2010—112 Houses
  •  5 March 2010—93 Houses
  •  5 March 2010—20 Houses
  •  23 March 2010—123 Houses
  •  30 April 2010—169 Houses
  •  30 April 2010—9 Houses
  •  30 April 2010—30 Houses
  •  11 May 2010—144 Houses.

-These 900 houses are located on Rae Bareli Road in Sultanpur district of UP.

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