Paramilitary forces asked to ensure consent for occupancy before constructing houses

Taking note of the low occupancy of houses built for personnel of central armed police forces (CAPFs), one of the advisers of the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), Sudhesh K Shahi, wants Director Generals (DGs) of paramilitary forces to get consent of the personnel for occupancy before going ahead with such projects.

In his letter on September 19, Shahi said: “It has come to the notice that a large number of houses constructed at many places are lying vacant. This can mean that the houses are built in places where the personnel are not willing to take them.” Therefore, it is necessary that whenever a construction is planned, the viewpoint of the force personnel should be taken into whether the location suits them or not, Shahi wrote.

Shahi also underlined that building the sanctioned number of houses in the name of authorisation was not a “proper decision”. “Please review all the ongoing housing construction projects at your level to see whether the force personnel would be willing to take them where the houses are under construction. If it appears that the houses there are no longer useful, then the number of houses there can be reduced and they can be built as needed in the future,” he further said.

When reached for a comment, the MHA did not respond.

On September 1, Home Minister Amit Shah had launched the “CAPF e-AWAS” web portal and it is expected that the housing satisfaction ratio (HSR) which was around 33 per cent in 2014 and 48 per cent today, will increase by 13 per cent without construction of new buildings.

Before CAPF e-AWAS portal, houses could be allotted only to the personnel of a force for whom they had been constructed, resulting in low occupancy. Now, under the e-AWAS portal, vacant houses will also be available for personnel of other forces.

In the last eight years, more than 31,000 houses have been constructed, more than 17,000 houses are under construction and there are proposals to build 15,000 more.

Shahi has requested all the DGs that they should keep in mind while preparing the housing plan in future that the force personnel were willing for allotment of the houses.

At the launch of the e-AWAS portal, Shah had said that the government was confident that the HSR will go up to 73 per cent by November 2024.

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