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First batch of houses under Centre's ARHCs scheme for migrant workers to be ready by April 2021: Report

The scheme, approved by the Union Cabinet in July, aims to cover around 300,000 beneficiaries with an expected expenditure of Rs 600 crore.

Representational picture
Representational picture

The first batch of houses for migrant labourers in cities who have returned to their native places following the COVID-19 induced lockdown may be readied by April 2021 while construction of new units will take another two years, Hindustan Times reported.

According to the report, nearly 75,000 vacant, government-funded complexes would be converted into affordable rental housing complexes (ARHCs) in the first phase of the scheme. These units have been built under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM), Rajiv Awas Yojana (RAY) and the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (PMAY). The first two schemes were conceptualised by the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government.

States which have the most number of unoccupied houses built under JNNURM and RAY include Maharashtra (32,202); Delhi (29,245), Gujarat (8,654), Rajasthan (7,045), Uttar Pradesh (5,923) and Haryana (2,545), it said.

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The AHCR scheme, approved by the Union Cabinet in July, aims to cover around 300,000 beneficiaries with an expected expenditure of Rs 600 crore.

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"It (ARHCs) focuses on providing comfort and utilising government’s unutilised stock. These vacant government accommodations, built at an investment of nearly Rs 2,000 crore, were lying useless. Hence, it is an important utilisation of the nation’s resources. We have also decided that these houses, given to the migrants, will not be affected by existing rental laws," the report quotes Amrit Abhijat, Joint Secretary, Housing For All, as saying.

Another official said that under model one of the scheme, the government will lease out existing houses and over 1.8 lakh such houses have been identified. Since they may be in poor condition, it will take another six to seven months to get them ready, the official added.

"They will be the first ones to be ready and should be taken up by March to April 2021. We have identified 75,000 beneficiaries," the official said.

"Under model two we will look at construction of new complexes, but that would take another two years depending on the funding available, land availability, local surveys, etc. The construction time should be around 12-14 months. To begin with 2.25 lakh houses have been planned," the official said.
First Published on Oct 1, 2020 04:09 pm
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