Funds shortage stalls housing programmeHopes were high in the impoverished Musahar community of Babhangama Katti-3 in Saptari district when the government announced People’s Housing Programme (Janata Awas Karyakram) three years ago.
Hopes were high in the impoverished Musahar community of Babhangama Katti-3 in Saptari district when the government announced People’s Housing Programme (Janata Awas Karyakram) three years ago. Although the programme began on time, it was left incomplete due to insufficient budget and disputes among the locals.
Devan Sada, like many of his fellow community dwellers, feels betrayed as the government has failed to deliver on its commitment. “The government is not for the poor people like us. They do not work for us,” Sada said. Thirteen families live in the Musahar settlement. The housing programme was also started in Kapilvastu and Siraha districts.
A total of 999 houses were built at Ghoghanpur, Bathnaha, Barahi, Birpur, Aurahi, Kalyanpur and Manraja areas in Saptari After the budget was passed during the first year of housing programme, according to the Rajbiraj Urban Development and Building Construction Division Office (UDBCDO). But construction of 747 houses could not take off due to dispute between lawmakers representing the district.
The locals complained that the budget allocated for the programme is insufficient. “We tear down our huts after the government assured us to construct new houses. However, they did not help us construct house for three years,” said Sada, adding that many families in the Musahar community are facing difficulties to stay during winds and rains.
Sub-engineer Ramakar Jha said the project was also affected by Madhes banda, insufficient budget and disputes among the locals.
“The government is providing Rs226,000 to construct each house. However, we received only Rs139, 000,” said Jha.
Many of the constructed houses are without roofs. The locals cannot use the houses as they do not have means to complete the work. They blamed the UDBCDO for the delay in constructing the houses.