Brick by brick towards a hutless AP
Laxmi Devi, a 28-year-old labourer, had a dream to build a house. Living hand to mouth with husband and son in a dingy hut on the outskirts of Garladinne in Anantapur district, she had no hope of life ever becoming kinder. “In spite of having two acres of land, we had to work as labourers to make ends meet. We could never build our own home,” she says.
Laxmi’s dream, however, was fulfilled thanks to the Indiramma housing scheme.Although she had to undergo some anxious moments and overcome a few hurdles before she could step into a pucca house of her own, she feels it was all worth the effort. All through the process, she never stopped hoping.
When Indiramma scheme was first launched in her district, Laxmi Devi was among the beneficiaries listed. But when the final list was announced, her name didn’t figure among the allottees and she was shattered. “I was extremely disappointed when I was not sanctioned any house,” Devi says. However, she took comfort in the fact that there was another round of allotments and waited anxiously for it.
Once she got an allotment in the second phase, Devi started constructing her house without losing any further time. In fact, she didn't rest till the house was completed. “I thought I should give no time to the officials to change their mind and go back on the allotment,” she says explaining the reason for completing her house in a short period. Officials too chipped in with assistance whenever required, she adds.
As soon as the house was sanctioned, being a member of a self-help group, Devi was provided with a bridge loan of Rs 10,000 from Canara Bank. “Whether others agree or not, I feel that Indiramma has transformed my life,” she says.
It is no wonder that her house in Garladinne was the first to be completed among the 270 houses in her village and 2,24,315 houses sanctioned in the whole of the second phase of the scheme. ``But for the scheme, I would have stayed in a hut for the rest of my life,” says Devi.
Devi's feat of completing her house in four months, has won her accolades from the Indiramma housing wing manager Ramachander Reddy. Like Devi, many families have benefited from the scheme. “Under the first phase of Indiramma housing, out of 1,19,995 houses sanctioned, 90,975 were constructed,” Ramachander Reddy says. “Among all the districts, Anantapur stood first in implementing the scheme followed by Visakhapatnam. Likewise, in the second phase, out of 1,88,622 houses sanctioned, 80,874 were built,” he added.
Indiramma Housing is a mass housing scheme. Under the scheme, BPL families are provided financial support in building houses in rural as well as urban areas. The scheme provides for rural permanent and semi-permanent housing and urban permanent housing. All BPL families are eligible under this scheme, provided their annual income does not exceed Rs 20,000 for rural inhabitants and Rs 28,000 in case of urban dwellers. It is also required that one must not possess title over the land proposed for construction of house.
Under rural permanent housing, each house costs Rs 25,000, out of which the beneficiary contributes only Rs 500. While Rs 17,500 is provided as a loan, the remaining amount is given as a grant. Rural semi-permanent housing is meant exclusively for Scheduled Tribes (STs) living in remote and interior areas of ITDAs. Each house costs Rs 17,500 out of which the beneficiary's contribution is only Rs 500. Under the Indiramma urban permanent housing, the cost of construction per house is Rs 40,000, out of which the beneficiary pays only Rs 2,000 and gets a loan of Rs 35,000.