Housing for all

Print edition : December 21, 2007

A multi-storeyed housing complex coming up under the Indiramma scheme. -

A multi-storeyed housing

OF all the housing schemes ever launched in the State, the latest one, the Integrated Novel Development in Rural Areas and Model Municipal Areas (Indiramma), is unique in the sense that it focusses on the comprehensive development of the entire housing colony. The Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy government launched the programme in 2006 to provide houses over a period of three years to those living below the poverty line (BPL) in all municipal wards and panchayats. The Chief Ministers respect for the slain Prime Minister Indira Gandhi is reflected in the acronym of the scheme.

Construction of houses for the poor has been identified as one of the important components of the scheme. The procedure for sanctioning houses up to 2005-06 was based on caste composition, that is, 50 per cent to the Scheduled Castes/Scheduled Tribes, 33 per cent to Backward Classes, 7 per cent to minorities and 10 per cent to the economically backward classes. The other factors considered were income, proposals from the local Member of the Legislative Assembly and the final list prepared by Minister in charge of each district.

In the financial year 2006-07, the mode of selection was modified to accommodate BPL families, irrespective of the caste composition, in both rural and urban areas with the aim of making Andhra Pradesh a hutless State by 2009. Only one house is sanctioned to each BPL family having an annual income of up to Rs.20,000 in rural areas and Rs.28,000 in urban areas. In order to achieve the emancipation and empowerment of women, it was decided that the houses will be sanctioned in the name of women beneficiaries.

Of the 93,911 houses sanctioned in rural areas with an outlay of Rs.29,372 lakh in 2006-07 under phase-I of the scheme, construction of 46,535 houses was completed at a cost of Rs.10,507 lakh. Similarly, 11,704 houses were sanctioned in urban areas with an outlay of Rs.4,681 lakh, of which 2,281 houses have been completed with an expenditure of Rs.799 lakh. Under phase-II, 1,36,893 houses have been proposed in the rural areas at a cost of Rs.42,779 lakh, and 19,692 houses are to come up in urban areas and the outlay is Rs.7,876.80 lakh.

The rapid progress made under the scheme proves that the government accords top priority to housing, next only to the much talked-about Jalayagnam (development of irrigation resources and ayacut improvement).

Further, loans are being arranged at an interest rate of 25 paise (3 per cent) to members of Self-Help Groups (SHGs). The number of houses proposed to be constructed during 2006-09 is 4,22,280 with a project cost of Rs.1,125.29 crore. This puts the number of houses taken up for construction by the present government at 4,80,013, which is twice the number of houses constructed in the past 25 years under government schemes.

Andhra Pradesh State Housing Corporation Limited has established four Nirmithi Kendras at Chittoor, Tirupati, Srikalahasti and Madanapalle in Chittoor district to promote and propagate cost-effective technology to minimise the cost of construction, the main aim being the transfer of technology from laboratory to land and the upgradation of skills of construction workers by training them at various levels, besides the production of building components using cost-effective and eco-friendly technologies.

Pre-cast building components worth Rs.960 lakh were utilised in the construction of houses under the Weaker Section Housing Programme. During 2006-07, building material worth Rs.188.41 lakh was produced. The technology deserves praise as the choice of sand cement blocks instead of traditional clay bricks resulted in the saving of 18,000 tonnes of firewood.

By using reinforced cement concrete (RCC) door-frames and RCC window-frames, about 1,12,000 cubic feet of wood was saved. In 2007-08, it has been proposed to establish 78 mandal-level Nirmithi Kendras and 543 sand cement block production centres at the village level at a cost of Rs.738 lakh, providing employment to 621 unemployed youth and generating employment for 3,000 workers daily.

A.D. Rangarajan
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