AURANGABAD: None of the eight districts of Marathwada has been able to complete the annual target they had received under the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojna (PMAY) for the financial year 2020-21.

The people’s representatives and authorities are blaming the soaring sand prices that is being controlled by the sand mafia. Also, the listed beneficiaries who have failed to meet the deadline for completing the construction of their houses have been served notices.

Nanded-based BJP MLA Rajesh Pawar said, “Sand mafias are controlling the price due to which poor people are unable to complete their houses under the state as well as Centre’s housing schemes. The beneficiaries are being slapped with notices for failing to meet the deadline.”

Terming illegal sand trading to be a parallel economy run by sand mafias in connivance with selected public servants from revenue and police department, Pawar had also resorted to hunger strike at secretariat during the last month’s assembly session.

Shiv Sena MLA from Aurangabad Pradeep Jaiswal said apart from soaring sand prices, exodus of migrant workers due to the lockdown has also affected the construction of houses under the government scheme.

Aurangabad district collector Sunil Chavan acknowledged the challenges faced by the beneficiaries in the past one year. “In the current fiscal, targets for completing the houses under the schemes will be met as sand will be legally available in abundance,” he said.

Under PMAY, Aurangabad district had a target of completing 22,143 houses, but it ended up completing only 11,614 houses. Latur completed 6,518 houses out of its target of 10,968. Hingoli (6,711), Jalan (6,349), Osmanabad (3,459), Parbhani (4,155), Beed (9,673) and Nanded (19,947) have also fallen well short of their respective targets.

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