New housing scheme for middle class

Shillong, Sept 13 : The Meghalaya government is planning to introduce a Rs 1 lakh housing scheme from next year, which will replace the age-old custom of distributing corrugated galvanised iron (CGI) sheets to the poor.
The decision to introduce the Meghalaya Housing Scheme comes in the wake of various allegations, which have been levelled against the distribution of CGI sheets.
“The proposal is still in the planning stage but the government is actively considering the same. Nine departments of the government have agreed to such a scheme,” housing minister Ampareen Lyngdoh said today.
According to the scheme, assistance will be provided to homeless people for constructing low cost homes worth Rs 1 lakh, she said.
The Meghalaya Right to Information Movement (MRTIM), a group of RTI activists, had brought to light various anomalies in the supply of CGI sheets.
According to the group’s findings, over Rs 9 crore has been allegedly “misappropriated” from 2003 to 2006 during the purchase of CGI sheets in Meghalaya, as part of Pradhan Mantri Gramodaya Yojana (PMGY) scheme and the Rural Housing Scheme meant for providing roof sheets to the poor.
Ampareen said the new scheme is expected to reduce anomalies, which have allegedly plagued the procurement and distribution of CGI sheets.
“The government wants to reform the process of distribution of CGI sheets, which has always faced one problem or the other. Various allegations have also been levelled against the scheme,” she said.
Stating the government was preparing designs for low cost homes, Ampareen said, “There are many urban and rural dwellers belonging to the middle class, who dream of their own houses but they find it difficult in accessing financial support to build homes. The scheme will help such people to get their own houses. At present, the houses in Shillong are expanding in a haphazard way.”