By NewsGram Staff Writer
Supreme Court has found severe financial holes in NDA government’s scheme to construct permanent housing facilities for the urban poor under the National Urban Livelihood Mission (NULM).
Giving the government a piece of its mind, a bench of Justices Madan B Lokur and U U Lalit said, “It is a big scam. Your (Centre’s) affidavit tells us everything. Where has the money gone. Affidavit shows us that no construction was done in Maharashtra. How was the Rs 170 crore granted to it utilized?”
In the last financial year, Centre had released Rs. 1,078 crore to states for constructing housing facilities for over 9 lakh urban homeless people. However, only a 208 houses were built across the country.
Funds granted to all the states were ‘utilized’ only by 14 states while no altering in the urbanscape was seen in the remaining 11 states and Union Territories. UP constructed 37 houses for Rs. 180 crore, while Maharashtra could not manage a single wall from the Rs. 170 crore it was given.
The funds released for a urban poor development scheme under NULM, in 790 cities were aimed at constructing permanent, all-weather houses for the homeless urban population.
The Centre had earlier said that executive committees have been set up in states and Union Territories and that the government would monitor the progress of the project. States and UTs were supposed to give monthly reports too.
However Centre’s enthusiasm and States’ sincerity are conspicuous by their presence on the ground, while some 10 lakh urban people continue their lives on roads, footpaths and under flyovers.
The apex body has asked the Ministry of Urban Development to submit a financial statement within two weeks. The ministry was also charged a fine of Rs. 10,000.