Patna: The construction of houses under the Indira Avas Yojana for Mushar community in Bihar's Kalaazar-prone districts has been suspended due to Centre's failure to release funds according to a revised rate per unit, Bihar Rural Development Minister Nitish Mishra said.
    
"The Centre is yet to make the additional allocation to Bihar as per its decision to revise the rate of the houses at Rs 45,000 per unit," the minister said.
    
Mishra said that his ministry had written a letter to Union Rural Development Ministry in February this year, but the Centre was yet to make additional allocation to build houses for the Mushar people under a long-term plan to eradicate the deadly Kalaazar disease.
     
The Centre had approved construction of 60 IAY houses at each of 216 villages in seven Kalaazar-affected districts in Bihar in 2006-07 at the rate of Rs 25,000 per house for the Mushar community under the Kalazar Special Package.
   
Two years later, the Centre extended the scheme to 15 districts, including those seven districts covered under the scheme, and sanctioned construction of 73,140 houses at the revised rate of Rs 35,000 per unit.
   
The Centre later decided to hike the assistance for houses under the IAY to Rs 45,000 for all types of beneficiaries with effect from April, 2010. The targeted beneficiaries under the scheme refused to accept the second instalment of the assistance at the earlier rate of Rs 25,000 per unit and demanded that they be given assistance as per the latest rate revised in 2010, official sources said.
   
Thirty-three out of 38 districts have been declared as affected by the dreaded Kalazar disease. Last year alone, 76 people died due to the disease.

(Agencies)

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