Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday said the average time of building a house under the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (PMAY-Gramin) came down to 45 to 60 days during the pandemic from 125 days as migrants, who returned home during the lockdown, also contributed towards it.
He said under the PMAY, 18 lakh houses have been constructed in the country during this crisis period.
Modi also called for the need to strengthen the poor in order to end poverty.
He was speaking during the virtual housewarming ceremony of 1.75 lakh houses built in rural parts of Madhya Pradesh under the PMAY-Gramin scheme.
“The speed with which these houses were constructed is a record. The construction of a house under the PMAY used to take an average of 125 days earlier.
But during the coronavirus period, it came down to 45 to 60 days. This is an example of turning a crisis into an opportunity,” he said.
“This has become possible as the migrants who returned home during the coronavirus-induced lockdown also joined the work and availed benefits of the Garib Kalyan Rojgar Abhiyaan, under which Rs 23,000 crore have been spent on infrastructure and other works,” he said.
The migrants returned home, got employment under this campaign and the expenditure done under it also helped the construction-related businesses, he added.
“This campaign has helped the rural economy,” he said.
Modi said people used to ask him what was new in the PMAY as such schemes existed since Independence.
“Construction of houses under the community development programmes began post-Independence. But the target of providing houses to the poor could not be achieved,” he said.
Earlier, everything related to houses for the poor was centralised in Delhi and the beneficiaries were nowhere involved in the process, Modi added.