BENGALURU: On February 1, the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) and the Karnataka Housing Department jointly launched the demand survey for the Housing for All-2022 mission under the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana. The national mission for urban housing aims to provide affordable houses to homeless families in Indian cities under the scheme in the next four years. 

The BBMP has invited applications from eligible beneficiaries (non-slum residents). The main eligibility criterion is that the applicant should be a BPL card holder possessing a vacant site or should be a BPL/APL card holder possessing a house (in a dilapidated state) of a minimum of 21-sqmt carpet area. February 15 is the last date to submit applications to respective ward offices. 

Surprised by the lukewarm response, the BBMP has decided to extend the deadline by another two weeks. While the higher-ups handling the survey have not disclosed the number of applications received, those in ward offices say the response has been poor.

Some revenue officers ET spoke to admitted that they had not received a single application. An officer attributes the reason to lack of awareness and laying strict terms and conditions specially on the size of the plot and house. “Nobody would want to build a house on a 250-sqft area. It is simply not practical.” 

The central government-sponsored Housing for All is not the only urban housing scheme to get a tepid response from Bengalureans. Chief minister Siddaramaiah’s pet project of building one lakh houses for the urban poor has also met a similar plight. Applications were invited from beneficiaries in the first week of December. Due to the lack of applications, the Rajiv Gandhi Rural Housing Corporation, the nodal agency to implement the scheme, has extended the deadline twice. 

An officer who has previously worked in the Housing Department said they had expected at least three to four lakh applications. But by end of January, the state project received only 30,000 applications.