Housing targets missed by ''astronomical'' proportions:CAG

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New Delhi, Nov 7 (UNI) The Parliamentary Standing Committee on Urban development have noted with dismay the ''astronomical gap'' between the target and the achievement under the 'Two Million Housing Programme'.

Under the scheme, out of the annual target of 20 lakh dwelling units, seven were to be constructed in urban areas. However, in the recent years, there has been a very disturbing gap between the target fixed and the actual houses constructed.

Citing an example, the Committee said HUDCO was supposed to construct four lakh houses during the last fiscal year(2007-2008), but it could deliver only 19406 dwelling units during the period.

Further, only 96531 houses were constructed as against the target of two lakh by HFI and public sector banks during the financial year.

''The Committee cannot feel but deep anguish at the underperformance of all the agencies responsible for implementing the scheme,'' it said and urged the Ministry to seek explanation from these agencies and state governments for missing the target by such a huge margin.

''The Ministry must coordinate and vigorously persue with them and simulatneously enhance financial support to meet the tragets of this scheme'' it said.

The Committee also suggested that HUDCO should be strengthened so that it could play a major role in the housing for the poor.

The Committee has been informed by the government that a decision has been taken to set up a high powered panel under the chairmanship of Ashok Jha, retired finance secretary, to rejuvenate HUDCO.

UNI NAZ LS PM1350

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