2BHK housing scheme, Dalit Bandhu beneficiaries list on hold

Hyderabad: Following widespread complaints of irregularities in beneficiary selection in various districts, the government is said to have decided to put the beneficiaries list of the 2BHK housing scheme and Dalit Bandhu on hold.

A new set of guidelines for beneficiary selection is expected to be approved in the Cabinet meeting scheduled for March 9.

Protests erupted in various districts, including Nalgonda, Mahabubnagar, and Nirmal, with protesters alleging that the names of “ineligible persons” were included in the list of beneficiaries for the 2BHK and Dalit Bandhu schemes. MLAs were given the powers to select beneficiaries for these schemes. There have been charges that MLAs chose candidates solely on political grounds, ignoring genuine beneficiaries.

The government is now planning to set up committees comprising officials for the selection of beneficiaries in the wake of government planning to distribute 2.5 lakh 2BHK houses as well as one crore house sites to the poor in the next few months before the Assembly polls this year, according to official sources.
The government is planning to select 500 beneficiaries in each Assembly constituency for the Dalit Bandhu scheme starting April in 2023-24.

The state government has sought the Centre’s financial assistance for the 2BHK housing under the PM Awas Yojana (PMAY). However, under the PMAY, only single bedroom houses at a cost of Rs 1.70 lakh will be built, but the Telangana government is spending nearly Rs 10 lakh for the construction of the 2BHK houses.

The state government sought the Centre’s permission to avail Rs 1.70 lakh Central assistance for the construction of the 2BHK houses. But the Centre has put a condition that it will grant permission only if the list of beneficiaries is submitted before the conclusion of the current fiscal 2022-23 on March 31.

With this, the state government issued instructions to MLAs to speed up the selection of beneficiaries. The selection lists are being prepared and submitted to the government without undertaking proper field-level surveys by officials to identify the beneficiaries. There are allegations that the MLAs were selecting only those who are working for their victory in the Assembly elections.

The Telangana High Court in November last year directed the state government not to involve MLAs in the selection of beneficiaries for Dalit Bandhu. With this, the government accepted applications, but did not select any beneficiaries since then.

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