As the much publicized TRS branded populist scheme ‘2-bedroom housing project’ for all may hit the wall due to acute fund crunch. The government has now run out of funds and has bills worth Rs 350 crore to be paid towards the construction of 2 lakh BHK houses.
The Telangana state government has spent about Rs 5,500 crore towards its flagship 2BHK project, most of the money coming from the Housing and Urban Development Corporation Limited (Hudco).
Although the government had earmarked Rs 2,354.76 crore for the housing department in its vote on account budget, an official said that the project requires about Rs 7,000 crore, considering its present situation. Due to this, the construction of 70,000 houses in the districts and 30,000 houses under the GHMC area will suffer. The project has already missed its deadline, and the state housing department has been trying hard to acquire funds from the National Housing Bank and a few other financial institutions for the project.
The government had sanctioned the construction of 1,400 houses in each of the 119 Assembly constituencies in the state. Of the 2.7 lakh units, the government wants to complete the construction of 1 lakh houses under the GHMC limits and another 1 lakh in rural pockets before the end of December. The cost of these units will vary depending on the location. As of now, it has been declared that each house would cost Rs 5.3 lakh in rural areas and Rs 7 lakh in urban areas.
According to highly placed sources in the housing department, the government has cleared bills amounting to Rs 5,500 crore, most of which was paid out of the Hudco loan. Of the Rs 1,000 crore bills that are pending, the department recently disbursed Rs 400 crore to the GHMC and Rs 250 crore to the agencies in the districts.
Further, of the 1.9 lakh houses on which work has begun, the government has nearly completed constructing about 30,000 houses in the GHMC limits and about 1 lakh in the districts. The project has been stagnant since August last year owing to the scarcity of funds.
Sources said that out of the Rs 90,000 crore annual revenue of the state, the majority is spent on staff salaries and pensions, irrigations projects and welfare schemes like Rythu Bandhu and Rythu Bhima. As the repayment the loan begins, it will be another financial burden on the government.
In the wake of this, the state government has to rely on borrowing more money to fund the project despite the budgetary allocation. Since acquiring loan approval is a consuming process, the beneficiaries of the reconstruction programme might have to wait longer.
TS Housing Corporation Limited special chief secretary Chitra Ramachand-ran said that the department had been monitoring the finances and that a few individuals had been unnecessarily raising alarm in their own self-interest. She said that the government was fully committed to the completion of the project.
“In addition to the budgetary support, we will also seek financial help from the National Housing Bank and other institutions. The project has been moving forward at a satisfactory pace and we’re 95 percent through with the construction of about 1.3 lakh 2 BHK houses in Telangana. The remaining houses are being developed simultaneously, so there isn’t much to worry about,” Ms Ramachandran said. #KhabarLive