New Delhi : As Chief Minister Nitish Kumar met Prime Minister Narendra Modi here, the Rural Development Ministry on Saturday termed Bihar as one of the least performing states in implementing the central government’s rural housing project or in creating Open Defecation Free (ODF) districts.
According to the ministry, there isn’t a single ODF district in Bihar, and just five houses have been built under the Pradhan Mantri Aawas Yojna.
“The state of Bihar is lacking in many things. There is no ODF district in Bihar and just five houses have been built under the Pradhan Mantri Aawas Yojna. We are talking to the state government to implement the central schemes. The amount of work that should have been done in Bihar has not been done,” said Minister of State for Rural Development Ram Kirpal Yadav.
On Saturday, Nitish Kumar attended a lunch hosted by Prime Minister Modi for visiting Mauritius Prime Minister Pravind Jugnauth in Hyderabad House here.
Narendra Singh Tomar, union Minister for Rural Development, Drinking Water and Sanitation and Panchayati Raj, said that under MGNREGA, job card verification/updation was taken on priority basis during 2016-17 and more than one crore job cards have been deleted after they were found to be fake.
According to the ministry, the highest number of job cards detected as fake were in Bihar, followed by Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Jharkhand.
“After doing the verification, we found that in many villages in Bihar there was nobody in the houses of the labourers holding the job cards. So, we had to cancel those job cards. There were also many cases of duplication of cards and in a few cases the card hoders had already died,” said Amarjeet Sinha, secretary, Department of Rural Development.
“We have also started the process to issue new cards to the families who were deprived of job cards,” he added.
According to the ministry, 139 districts in the country are ODF and three states – Sikkim, Kerala and Himachal Pradesh – are fully ODF. Andhra Pradesh and Bihar do not have any ODF district.
Gujarat has 26 ODF districts, Uttarakhand has 11, Punjab eight, West Bengal seven, Rajasthan six, Chhattisgarh five, Madhya Pradesh four, Telangana three, while Tamil Nadu, Jharkhand, Uttar Pradesh and Meghalaya have one each.
A total of 34.82 lakh houses have been constructed across the country during 2014-15 to 2015-16, against a target of 45.98 lakh under the erstwhile Indira Awaas Yojana (IAY) scheme. During 2016-17, 32.14 lakh houses have been completed with an expenditure of Rs 16,074 crore under the revamped scheme PMAY-G, a statement said. –IANS