Housing scheme moves at snail’s pace

It has been five years since the Integrated Housing and Slum Development Programme (IHSDP) was launched in Sambalpur to improve the condition of the slum dwellers. But the programme has failed to make any impact till now.

Although 613 BPL families were identified under the scheme, only 101 houses have been completed so far while 138 houses are in different stages of completion.

Initially, each beneficiary was sanctioned `80,000 which was later raised to `1.20 lakh under the scheme. Sources said the local municipality had received `6.13 crore for implementation of the scheme in the beginning. As it did not make much headway in implementation of the programme, the work was entrusted to an NGO, Biswa.

While the NGO was directed to construct 239 houses, it could complete 101 houses. Subsequently, work order of the NGO was cancelled by then collector Mrinalini Darswal in 2011 following controversies.

As the situation stands today, construction of houses under the programme is underway in 24 slums across 14 wards in Sambalpur municipality. Although the Municipality claims that 15 houses have been completed in Harijan Pada of Bhatra in Ward No-1, only five houses have been completed. Municipal Engineer Basanta Padhy said individual work orders have been issued to beneficiaries to ensure early completion of houses.

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