Indira Awas Yoja a farce in Goalpara
FROM A CORRESPONDENT
GOALPARA, April 30: At a time when the entire state of Assam was excited to exercise their fundamental right of voting and were busy in celebrating their much awaited “Rongalee Bihu” but for certain number of villagers in the Goalpara district, the festive seasons have really turned out to be a matter of curse. Spending of days and nights has really been a nightmare as because the Assamese New Year is commonly addressed by heavy showers of rain and devastating storms. Moreover this year the fear have been added even more by the high Richter scale earthquake which was witnessed over the entire state of North East on the eve of first Bihu.
All these factors have ultimately forced the poor rural villagers from the interior of the district to dwell here and there in search of proper shelter.
The pathetic condition of the poor clearly reflects the Indira Awas Yoja (IAY) scheme’s poor implementation in the district.
According to a Baseline Survey of Minority Concentrated Districts Commissioned by Union Ministry of Minority Affairs Government only 17.78 per cent of the sample households have been benefited under IAY which is very negligible in comparison to the population of the entire district.
The availability of all-weather protected pucca houses is found to be the top most critical gap resulting in slow progress of the district, as majority of the people in this remote district of Assam are still living in thatched houses with very deteriorating condition.
As per the report one of the prime reason for this poor condition of the district is that larger number of beneficiaries are still kept outside the purview of the Indira Awas Yoja (IAY). The number of houses constructed under the scheme is quite insufficient to fill the gap in the district. There is allegation that money meant for the IAY construction is siphoned off by the vested interested circle.
The overall qualitative and quantitative availability of housing in the rural areas of this district is not satisfactory. This calls in for vigorous implementation of the scheme with close monitoring so as to include more beneficiaries under its ambit. The area of coverage of the scheme too needs to be extended in order to include all poverty stricken households of the district.
Moreover the villagers of langa and Khongkhal village also claimed that the money which is allotted for the construction and up gradation of house is whipped out by the authorities involved in the implementation of the scheme. Instances of availing the Government benefits in fake me have also come to light. The documents which were submitted by the poor eligible beneficiaries is being used by the vested interested people to drench out the benefits in their own pockets.
IAY is a flagship programme of the Ministry of Rural Development launched in 1996 as a part of a larger strategy of rural poverty eradication.
In order to bridge this gap of social indifference ACTED under the aegis of European Union (EU) along with active support from NEICORD, NTF and PAC is actively working in the district along with six other backward districts of North East in the project of improving access to information and delivery of Public Schemes, said Guithuilung Daimei the Project Mager from NEICORD.
There are special emphasis on the Goalpara district, which is one of the most backward district of the region and hence it has been picked up by the ACTED project. A number of workshops, awareness campaign and various other tools such as setting up of Common Service Centrs(CSC),SMS alert on Government schemes, etc are being organized so as to hit the rural populace and make them socially aware. Dissemiting correct and updated information to every household of this backward districts relating to ten government schemes including IAY has been the prime motto of the ambitious project said, Daimei.