Thiruvananthapuram: Kerala chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Wednesday dismissed the opposition charge that the LDF government's ambitious housing scheme 'Life Mission' was going on at a slow pace and said over five lakh beneficiaries had been identified under the initiative.
The all-women network Kudumbashree had conducted a state-wide survey and as many as 797 local self government bodies had finalized the list of beneficiaries, he told the state assembly.
Pinarayi was replying to a notice for adjournment motion by the Congress-led UDF opposition members, alleging confusion and technical complexities in identifying beneficiaries under the program.
The chief minister said that a total of 75,065 Scheduled Caste people, 14,085 belonging to Scheduled Tribes and 6,000 fishers were among those identified as beneficiaries.
"The survey has identified 5.13 lakh persons as homeless in the state. We are trying to address the issues of all of them under the Life mission program," he said.
The aim was to complete construction of 66,750 houses, work of which began under various earlier schemes but remained incomplete, before March 31 this year, he said.
Construction of houses of those who have neither land nor houses would be considered in the next phase, Pinaryi said.
"The construction of houses for 1.76 lakh homeless people who have their own land will be completed by 2018-19," he said, adding that Rs 4 lakh would be spent for each house.
Seeking notice for the motion, P K Basheer (IUML) alleged that no new house was constructed under 'Life Mission' in the last two years, after the CPM-led LDF government came to power.
"The government is issuing order after order in this regard, making the entire application procedure complex. The technical issues with the software has added more woes to the applicants," he said.
He also alleged that the scheme has destroyed the decentralized administrative system in the state and resulted in concentration of all powers for the allocation of funds at the ministerial and bureaucratic level.
Leader of the opposition in the assembly Ramesh Chennithala alleged that the much-hyped Life Mission was yet to take off in the state.
He also said that there was no concrete system to address the complexities and confusions attached to the program.
The opposition members later staged a walkout as speaker P Sreeramakrishnan disallowed notice for the motion after the reply of the chief minister.