State yet to come up with proper housing scheme

Damage to tin roofs more in storm and hail

SHILLONG: The state government is yet to come up with a proper housing scheme for the poor since the earlier one was stopped in 2017.
Come thunderstorm or hail, the quality of roofing of houses in the rural areas of the state comes under question.
Very often, the tin roofs are blown away in the storm and damaged when there are hailstones.
The cyclonic storm since April 14 has affected 700 villages and 100 school buildings and a few community halls were also damaged.
A senior government official admitted on Saturday that there should be a study on the nature of materials provided for the construction of the houses in rural areas.
The official, however, added that matters related to construction of houses in rural areas are dealt by the Housing department.
Earlier, the government used to distribute corrugated galvanised iron sheets (CGI) to the residents of the rural areas of the state.
The distribution was through the MLA scheme of Special Rural Works Programme (SRWP).
For a couple of years now, the government has stopped distribution of CGI sheets after anomalies were detected.
In 2017, prior to the Assembly elections, the Congress-led government had introduced Chief Minister’s housing scheme by providing aluminum roofing to the villagers.
However, it was stopped after distribution of around 20,000 aluminum sheets.
After the NPP-led government assumed power, no decision has been taken regarding continuation of the scheme.
An official with the state housing department admitted that after 2017, there has been no scheme for construction of houses in the rural areas.
The Housing department implements both the central and state schemes.
However, it is yet to be known how many houses were constructed under the central scheme.
The website of the Housing department says that the role of the Housing department is to implement the housing schemes introduced by the Government of India since 1952.
According to the government, the housing department is implementing the schemes out of plan fund allocation and the department was to formulate policies on matters relating to housing schemes, draft acts and rules relating to housing to evolve suitable design and prepare detailed programmes with cost, specification and others.
According to a government official, there is a need to converge both central and state schemes so that there is no overlapping.
Besides, the quality of houses should be checked before handing them over for use, the official said, adding the houses should be built in such a way that they can resist storms and hailstones as mostly the roofs are damaged during the natural calamities.

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