Central govt’s rural housing scheme hit hard by sand ban
Patna,(BiharTimes): Restrictions imposed on sand by the state government in August last have brought to virtual stand still all construction works under Indira Awas Yojana, whose name has been changed to Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana-Grameen.
Reports said that work on estimated four lakh houses have been put on hold as the beneficiaries are unable to meet the rising cost of sand. Out of a target of 11.74 lakh homes sanctioned for Bihar in 2016-17 and 2017-18, four lakh homes had to be constructed by March 31, 2018 by the rural development department.
But the target is not likely to be achieved because of restrictions imposed on supply of sand.
According to Secretary Rural Development Department Arvind Chaudhary sand scarcity has hit the work under IAY.
Patna high on Monday ordered that mining activities would continue in the state as per the unamended rules.
However, scarcity of sand has led to sharp increase in its price–– from Rs 2250 for hundred cft to Rs 7,000 per hundred cft.
Construction of low-cost houses under IAY was hit as the beneficiaries are entitled to get Rs 1.20 lakh per unit as assistance. Now they are unable to meet the cost within their stipulated budget. Thus the construction has stopped.
Meanwhile, RJD has changed the date of its bandh (shutdown) call in protest against the new sand policy from Dec 18 to 21.