Pradhan accuses Odisha govt of appropriating central sponsored rural housing schemes


Bhubaneswar: Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan on Friday accused the Odisha government of appropriating the work done under rural housing schemes launched by the Central government as exclusive state government-sponsored schemes.

In a letter, Pradhan also requested Rural Development and Panchayati Raj Minister Narendra Singh Tomar to send a high-level team to probe into the actual dwelling units constructed under various schemes in the state.

He said eyewash is being perpetuated by the Odisha government regarding rural housing schemes.

“During the recent Ratha Jatra at Puri, the state government came up with misleading advertisements claiming that it has completed over 17 lakh pucca houses for the rural poor in past four years under Biju Pucca Ghar Yojana (BPGY), a state government sponsored scheme,” said Pradhan.

However, the state government’s website states that only 2.8 lakh houses have been built under schemes exclusively sponsored by the state government such as the BPGY and Nirrnan Shramik Pucca Ghar Yojana, said the Minister.

“Most regrettably, there are allegations of partisanship and irregularities in the allotment of houses under rural housing schemes,” said Pradhan.

The Minister said this is an old tactic of the ruling party in the state to start schemes akin to the central schemes and appropriate credit, much against the spirit of cooperative federalism.

Reacting to the allegations, BJD spokesperson Sasmit Patra said the minister has a habit of interfering in the works of other departments instead of concentrating on his own ministry.