The Odisha unit of the BJP Monday alleged a scam of about Rs 1,000 crore in the implementation of the Pradhan Mantri Aawas Yojana (PMAY-G), a flagship rural housing scheme, in the coastal state. The claim was made by BJP state unit president Samir Mohanty at a press conference here on Monday.
"It is estimated that there have been irregularities in distribution of 1 lakh housing units in 9 blocks of 5 districts. If a housing unit costs Rs 1.20 lakh, one can safely conclude that there has been a scam of Rs 1,000 crore.If all districts are to be taken into account, the amount of corruption could be in thousands of crores," Mohanty claimed.
The allegation has been denied by the ruling BJD. The BJP will launch a three-day statewide protest from July 7 over the alleged scam.
"The BJP will expose the state governments corruption in the PMAY by staging protests in all blocks across the state.The agitation will be further intensified if the state government doesn't take measures to stop such a corrupt practice," Mohanty said.
He said the large-scale corruption in the housing scheme has come to the fore after a Central team revealed it in its report. Alleging that pucca houses were being allotted to ineligible beneficiaries in Tangi of Khurdha district, Mohanty cited instances of how the funds under the rural housing scheme had been granted people in Niali block of Cuttack district for construction of cowshed.
The BJP president also alleged that funds have been forwarded to the bank accounts of 98,562 beneficiaries by the BDOs (block development officers) through manual override in a soft database, which is illegal. He also claimed that houses were constructed with substandard material and some dwellings had no windows, doors, and toilets.
As many as nine districts have got no allotment for pucca houses while some districts got negligible numbers. The ruling BJD rejected the BJPs allegation and termed Mohantys statement as the outcome of the partys "frustration" after its defeat in the West Bengal assembly polls and resentment within the organisation in some states.
"The BJP state president should know that the Union Rural Development Ministry has praised the Odisha governments implementation of the housing scheme. It is an attempt to defame Odisha by making false and baseless allegations," BJD spokesperson Lelin Mohanty said.