Hyderabad, October 29: A sample survey conducted by the CPI(M) on
implementation of Indiramma housing programme for the poor in Andhra Pradesh
revealed that the names of 44.76 per cent of people eligible to get benefit
under the programme were not included in the lists of beneficiaries and that
names of 21 per cent of the people who were not eligible to get benefit
under the programme figured in the lists.
The survey also revealed that corruption was rampant, taking place in
several forms in the implementation of the programme. Bribes are being
taken for sanctioning of houses, release of instalments of loans, and bags
of cement in lesser quantity and bricks of inferior quality are being given.
Bills are being raised and funds swallowed even without constructing houses,
besides making money by simply painting old houses and showing them as new
houses constructed under the Indiramma programme.
Even though an intended beneficiary is a major, his or her application is
being rejected under the pretext that he or she figured in the ration card
as a minor. Pink ration cards given by mistake to the families below the
poverty line who are entitled to get a white ration card are not being
changed into white ration cards and their applications are being rejected,
treating them as ineligible people.
In a letter addressed to the minister for housing, B Satyanarayana, Polit
Bureau member and state secretary of the CPI(M) B V Raghavulu pointed out
that the Indiramma housing programme was becoming a money spinner for
ineligible people, political middle men and the corrupt and that the benefit
that was accruing to the poorest of the poor was negligible. Raghavulu
made it clear that after touring in the districts extensively and
ascertaining the factual position personally, he had come to that
With selection of ineligible people under pressure of influential people and
to meet political requirement, the public money intended for the benefit of
the poorest of the people was being squandered and the very aim of the
government's programme getting affected, he explained. Since the selection
of ineligible people was being made due to the pressure exerted by the
leaders of the ruling party, it was unwise to make the staff of the
government responsible for the same, he made it clear.
Raghavulu explained that at many places the very beneficiaries who had
already got house sites were being selected for Indiramma housing programme
and that selection of the eligible people who did not have house sites was
rare. As a result of this method, the poor who are really in need of houses
and those who are taking shelter in others' houses are being eliminated from
the scheme. Referring to the statements made by the chief minister, Y S
Rajasekhara Reddy, and the minister that why should the CPI(M) agitate for
house sites to the poor when the government was constructing houses for
them, Raghavulu asked the minister as to how the government would give
houses to the poor, who did not have houses sites, without selecting them as
beneficiaries under the scheme.
Though the lists of the eligible people who were not included in the lists
of beneficiaries of Indiramma housing programme, 40 per cent as per the
survey conducted by the CPI(M), were submitted to the authorities concerned
in the districts, no survey was conducted by them and the eligible people
were not included in the lists of beneficiaries so far. It was not
accidental as a mistake committed by the staff of the government. It had
happened only because the government had given such a policy direction,
Raghalvulu asserted in his letter to the minister.
While the government was stating that it would see that the homeless poor
would reach a state of saturation, the officers concerned were telling that
there were no directions from the government to include in the lists of
beneficiaries the names of elible people whose lists were already submitted,
he pointed out. Explaining how irregularities and corruption were taking
place in the implementation of the programme as revealed in the sample
survey, Raghavulu asserted that media reports in the districts and the
versions of the people in the villages make it abundantly clear that
corruption in the implementation of Indiramma housing programme was rampant.
When the reality of Indiramma houses being sanctioned to the people who had
big houses already staring in the face and when it was their daily
experience that nothing would be done without greasing the palms of the
concerned authorities, it would be difficult to believe that the people
would give credence to the bluffing to the contrary, Raghavulu made it
Even those poor people to whom houses were sanctioned under the programme
were finding it difficult to complete construction of houses, with the
amount sanctioned by the government being quite inadequate for completing
construction. As a result, construction of houses was being stopped at
level of basement itself and in the middle. Those who incurred debts for
constructing their houses, were being caught in debt trap, unable to repay
it. Those who could not get debt could not complete construction of their
houses. Because of this kind of predicament, some of the beneficiaries were
giving up the houses sanctioned to them, Raghavulu explained. Most of such
beneficiaries were dalits and tribals, as was the case with the eligible
people who were not selected because they did not have house sites.
Raghavulu found fault with the government for not constructing houses for
the poor or sanctioning house sites or allowing them to raise a hut. He
pointedly asked the minister whether it was kind of justice under Indiramma
regime being meted out to the poor by razing their huts raised on government
lands or the ground with bulldozers or burning them with petrol.
Raghavulu demanded the government to set up the institution of ombudsman to
curb corruption in the implementation of Indiramma housing programme. He
also suggested to the government to conduct a comprehensive survey and
include all the eligible people in the lists of beneficiaries and to give
pattas to those who had set up huts on government lands.
ROUND TABLE MEETING
OF POLITICAL PARTIES
A round-table meeting on 'irregularities and corruption in Indiramma'
organised by the CPI(M) at Sundarayya Vignanana Kendram in Hyderabad
demanded the state government to form all-party monitoring committees at the
district and mandal levels to ensure transparency in implementation of
Indiramma housing programme and eliminate corruption in it. Explaining the
kind of irregularities and corruption taking place in implementation of the
programme, the meeting warned that government that the political parties
themselves would form a monitoring committee if the government did not
comply with their demand. Leaders of the CPI(M), CPI, Telugu Desam Party,
Telangana Rashtra Samiti and Lok Satta participated in the meeting. B V
Raghavulu, TDP leader Kadiam Srihari, TRS leader Nayani Narsimha Reddy, CPI
leader K Ramakrishna, Lok Satta leader Bodepudi Satyanarayana, CPI(M) leader
Y Venkateswara Rao and others participated in the meeting.
From M Venugopala Rao/INN