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NEW DELHI : The union cabinet on Wednesday cleared continuation of the rural housing scheme—Prime Minister’s Awas Yojana-gramin—till 2024 to help facilitate the intended target of building 29.5 million houses under the scheme. 

The financial implication for constructing the remaining 15.57 million houses is 2.17 trillion, said an official statement. Of this, central government share is 1.25 trillion.  

“The continuation of scheme till March, 2024 ensures that the remaining 15.57 million households within overall target of 2.95 crore houses under PMAY-G scheme would be provided assistance for construction of ‘pucca’ houses with basic amenities to achieve the objective of “housing for all" in rural areas," said the statement. 

As on 29 November, 16.5 million houses have been constructed under the scheme out of the total targeted 29.5 million houses.  It is estimated that 20.2 million houses will be completed by 15 August, 2022.  “Therefore, to achieve the total target of 29.5 million houses, the scheme needs to be continued till March, 2024," the statement said. 

Separately, the cabinet also decided to finance the implementation of the Ken-Betwa river inter-linking project.  

The total cost of Ken-Betwa link project has been assessed at Rs.44,605 crore at 2020-21 price levels.   The Union Cabinet has approved central support of Rs.39,317 crore for the project, covering grant of Rs.36,290 crore and loan of Rs.3,027 crore.  

The project will pave the way for more interlinking of river projects in India and also showcase to the world our ingenuity and vision.  

This project involves transfer of water from the Ken to the Betwa river through the construction of Daudhan Dam. It also involves building a canal linking the two rivers. The project will provide an annual irrigation of 10.62 lakh ha, drinking water supply to a population of about 62 lakhs and also generate 103 MW of hydropower and 27 MW solar power. The project is proposed to be implemented in eight years. 

In March, the central government and the Chief ministers of Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh had agreed to implement this project, which is the first major centrally driven river interlinking project in the country. This also marks the beginning of inter-state cooperation to carry water from areas that have surplus to drought prone and water deficit areas through the interlinking of rivers, which was former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s vision, the statement said. 

The project is expected to be of immense benefit to the water starved Bundelkhand region, spread across the states of Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh. The project is expected to boost socio-economic prosperity in the backward Bundelkhand region on account of increased agricultural activities and employment generation. It would also help in arresting distress migration from this region, said the statement.


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