Tamil Nadu housing scheme challenged in court

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

CHENNAI - The Madras High Court Wednesday issued notices to the central and Tamil Nadu governments, the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) and the accountant general of Tamil Nadu on a petition that challenged the constitutional validity of a state government housing scheme for people living in huts.

The Kalaignar Housing Scheme is a dream project of Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi to convert 2.1 million thatched huts into concrete homes over a period of six years.

The conversion cost per hut is estimated to be Rs.75,000. In the last fiscal, a sum of Rs.2,250 crore was allotted for construction of 300,000 houses.

Hearing a petition of advocate S. Subramaniam Balaji, the court issued notices to six respondents - the state’s chief secretary, the secretary of the rural development department, the commissioner of rural development and panchayati raj, the secretary of the union ministry of finance, the CAG and the accountant general of Tamil Nadu - and fixed the next hearing Feb 15.

In the interim budget for 2011-12, the state government allocated a sum of Rs.375 crore for the project.

Balaji said in his petition that the housing scheme was unauthorised and should be quashed.

According to him, the housing scheme was “unconstitutional, illegal and a sham, floated with the ulterior motive of bribing and the inducing electorate to vote for the ruling party.

–Indo Asian News Service

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