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Posted at: Feb 3, 2018, 1:07 AM; last updated: Feb 3, 2018, 1:07 AM (IST)

Consider prefabricated houses for homeless: HC

Consider prefabricated houses for homeless: HC

Saurabh Malik

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 2

The Punjab and Haryana High Court has told the State of Punjab that it could consider the allocation of low-cost prefabricated houses to the homeless — women and aged included.

Justice Ritu Bahri also asked the Union of India to consider relaxation in the allocated budget for the construction of such houses.

As the issue came up for resumed hearing, the Bench was told that a prefabricated house, along with toilet, had been constructed as a model in Seonk village, near here.

“Now the state government can consider as to whether such houses can be made viable for homeless people, keeping in view that these have to be made for senior citizens, handicapped persons as well as deserted women, who cannot make houses for themselves...,” Justice Bahri asserted.

Appearing before the Bench, Assistant Solicitor-General of India Chetan Mittal submitted that prefabricated houses could, indeed, be given to the aged, physically challenged and homeless widows staying alone with small children as their construction took comparatively lesser time.

Mittal also sought additional time to place on record the complete status report on other beneficiary schemes being implemented by the Union of India.

“After the state governments consider delivery of this house, the Union of India will examine relaxation in the allocated budget for the construction of these houses, keeping in view the condition of homeless people,” Justice Bahri added.

Mittal was further directed to get instructions on how the budgetary allocation could be adjusted after taking into consideration the costs of the houses and the requirement of homeless, aged, deserted women and children.

The State counsel had earlier informed the Bench that gram panchayat land for one model house had been given and Rs 2 lakh had been sanctioned for a room, along with a toilet.

The development took place less than a year after the High Court initiated suo motu proceedings for preventing women from ending their life.

The Bench, on a previous date of hearing, had observed that Rs 387.93 crore had been sanctioned for 2017-18. Another Rs 91 crore had been sanctioned by the Union of India for the implementation of the Pradhan Mantri Awaas Yojana (Gramin).

Acting on a petition by Jugraj Singh, Justice Bahri had earlier asked Punjab and Haryana to turn to social media for marketing products women manufactured. The Legal Service Authority was also asked to disseminate information to “poor villagers” on government schemes.

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