Jharkhand Launches ‘Abua Awas Yojna’ (AAY) Housing Scheme
The Jharkhand Cabinet recently approved the ‘Abua Awas Yojna’ (AAY), a housing scheme designed to provide eight lakh pucca houses to homeless individuals in the state. With a total budget of Rs 16,320 crore, the scheme will be executed in three phases, targeting 2 lakh houses in the current financial year, 3.5 lakh houses in FY 2024-25, and 2.5 lakh houses in FY 2025-26.
The Need for AAY
Despite the existence of multiple housing schemes in Jharkhand, including Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana-Rural and Ambedkar Awas Yojna, these initiatives have been unable to cover all eligible beneficiaries. Chief Minister Hemant Soren and Minister of Rural Development Alamgir Alam had raised concerns that approximately 8 lakh eligible beneficiaries had been excluded from housing schemes due to discrepancies and errors in the identification process.
What AAY Provides
Under the ‘Abua Awas Yojna’ scheme, beneficiaries will receive a three-room house with one kitchen, covering a total area of 31 sq m. The government has allocated Rs 2 lakh per beneficiary in its budget, disbursed in four instalments. In comparison, Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana-Rural constructs houses with two rooms and one kitchen, with a provision of Rs 1.2-1.3 lakh per beneficiary.
Additionally, AAY offers beneficiaries the opportunity to work under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS) and earn wages for up to 95 unskilled man-days at the prevailing wage rate, which can be used for building their houses. There is also a provision to include a toilet in the house’s construction, using funds from the Swachh Bharat Mission or other available schemes.
Importantly, all houses built under AAY will be registered in the name of women from the beneficiary families.
AAY targets beneficiaries in the following categories:
- Individuals residing in kutcha houses.
- Homeless or unattended individuals.
- Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Group (PVTG) members will receive priority.
- Families affected by natural calamities.
- Bonded laborers rescued through legal processes.
- Individuals who have not been beneficiaries of any other housing schemes.
Certain criteria make individuals ineligible for the scheme, including:
- Ownership of a four-wheeler or fishing boat.
- Ownership of a three or four-wheeler vehicle used for agricultural purposes.
- Current or retired government or semi-government employees.
- Family members serving as public representatives.
- Income tax payers.
- Professional tax payers.
- Families with a refrigerator.
- Families owning 2.5 acres of land with at least one irrigation device or 5 acres of irrigated land.