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State auditor’s report says Karnataka met only 17% of target in affordable housing segment

The report says the Union government withheld Rs 1,003.55 crore due to non-fulfilment of prescribed conditions by the state. Also, the requirement of registering projects under RERA had not been met.

Representative image

Representative image

A report from Karnataka’s audit office said the state housing department has completed only 88,395 dwelling units (DUs), or 17 percent of the target of 5,17,531 DUs, for the urban poor as of March 2021.

The report added that the construction of 3,28,499 DUs (63 percent) was yet to begin, “indicating that achieving the mission goal of ‘Housing for All’ by 2022 was a difficult prospect”.

The paper, tabled in the state assembly on September 20, said that as of March 2021, projects were taken up only for 5,17,531 beneficiaries out of the 13,71,592 prospective beneficiaries, or only 38 percent, identified through the demand survey.

Poor implementation

It highlighted that the demand survey was conducted without following the procedure prescribed by the state government, which carried the risk of exclusion of eligible beneficiaries.

The report added that only 13.72 lakh prospective beneficiaries were identified in the survey compared with a projection of 20.35 lakh people under the Karnataka Affordable Housing Policy (KAHP), 2016.

“Only 3.43 lakh out of 5.17 lakh beneficiaries were attached to the approved Affordable Housing in Partnership (AHP) and Beneficiary Led individual house Construction (BLC) projects after due validation using unique identification numbers resulting in beneficiaries drawing multiple benefits under same/different verticals,” the report added.

Additionally, the audit report said that documents to determine economic eligibility, such as ration cards and income certificates, were collected in the case of only 4.19 lakh out of 13.72 lakh prospective beneficiaries, or 31 percent.

Benefits to ineligible persons

Only 12 percent of the beneficiaries listed in the approved detailed project reports (DPRs) received actual benefits while 44 percent of the actual beneficiaries were not on the list of potential beneficiaries generated from the demand survey.

“This resulted in the extension of scheme benefits to ineligible beneficiaries such as those with annual income above Rs three lakh and those already having pucca houses,” the report said.

After a joint inspection, it was found that 41 percent of the houses constructed under the scheme were expensive multi-storey buildings with carpet areas greater than 30 square metres and did not fall within the unit cost of Rs 5 lakh prescribed under KAHP, the report added.

Shortage in funds

The report said the Union government withheld Rs 1,003.55 crore that was to be disbursed to the state due to non-fulfilment of prescribed conditions by Karnataka and due to short collection of beneficiary contributions and urban local body levies of Rs 8,360.78 crore. “This resulted in the cancellation of AHP projects and non-provision of civic infrastructure for completed houses envisioned under the scheme,” the report said.

It added that Rs 4,560 crore for 300 projects was approved by the central government; however, the Aadhaar seeding (as of March 2021) of the recipients delayed the transfer of the money. The audit office also said that other requirements such as land identification and project registration under the Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Act had not been met by the state government.
Souptik Datta Sub Editor at Moneycontrol
first published: Sep 21, 2022 06:48 pm