In order to weed out the 'ineligible' and 'bogus' beneficiaries of various government schemes and, at the same time, have a foolproof database of the needy, the Telangana government has decided to have 'Intensive Household Survey-2014' on a single day.
As a preparatory exercise, a day-long meeting with revenue officials from all the 10 districts of the state, including district collectors and secretaries of various departments, was held here on Friday.Chief minister K Chandrasekhar Rao underlined the objectives of the survey, how it should be executed and explained the long-standing benefits to be derived from it.
Emphasising the importance of accurate statistical data for the government to plan and execute many of its welfare and developmental programmes, he said that whatever statistical data available with different departments till date was inaccurate and contradictory in nature. "People have high expectations from the government. To meet their expectations, we have to have accurate figures, to work out various welfare initiative and developmental programmes. In that direction, we have decided to take up the ambitious Intensive Household Survey-2014 ," he explained. He said the surveyors should not collect data in a routine manner but apply their mind to get accurate data.
"Whatever data is collected will be computerised and made available to officials from the tahasildar to chief secretary and chief minister. At the touch of a button, we should be able to find the details pertaining to a 'Mallaiah' of a remote village in Adilabad district," he said and added that such a database would remove the menace of middleman
MAMMOTH EXERCISE: The entire survey will be done from dawn to dusk on the lines of general election. Just like on the polling day, the entire official machinery will be engaged in the mammoth exercise, covering the 84 lakh households in the state. District collectors will chalk out a strategy as how best to mobilise the employees for conducting the survey and every mode of transport will be utilised for the purpose. ''Data will be collected in the format developed for the purpose. After verifications and cross-checking it will be computerised,'' CM explained.
KCR said there were several loopholes in the past surveys that are proving costly for the state exchequer. ''As against 84 lakh households, there are 91 lakh white ration cards and 15 lakh pink cards issued. Why were the additional cards issued? Where are those beneficiaries? Every government scheme is linked to the white ration card. Today, we are feeling a lot of heat over the fee reimbursement scheme which is also linked to white ration cards for determining the beneficiary. Similarly, Arogyasri is linked to white ration cards and so is the case with housing and social welfare pensions." He wondered where the need would be for more houses if the 55 lakh- odd houses claimed to have been sanctioned by the previous governments existed. "But, there is need for houses as reports at ground level indicate," he said and made it clear that at no point of time would the ineligible be allowed to benefit
LAND SURVEY: Rao said even the land records and data on available land were inaccurate and blamed the previous governments for it. "After the lands were assigned, statistics from different departments indicate that there is 40 lakh acres of land is available, of which 20 lakh acres is not fit for agriculture. Many industrialists in the country are eager to invest in the state. Hence our decision to utilise those fallow lands for industrial purpose.".
KCR wanted the officials of TSIIC, industries department to do a joint survey on the availably of land and develop it in three phases. In the first phase, the land immediately available should be developed. In the second, those with boulders should be levelled. In the third, lands with hillocks should be utilised for setting up solar power projects if possible, he said and wanted every inch of land utilised efficiently.Asking the collectors to re-verify the land inventory by involving other officials and people's representatives, Rao said there were instances where those at ground level said land was available but government records said otherwise.
"There is time and the government has five years to set right the situation. Whatever we do should be done in a perfect manner. Even if we do a part of the job, it should be perfect. There are political parties complaining nothing is being done but what they really want is to let the government make mistake and take advantage of it for their own gains."
FEE REIMBURSEMENT: Emphasising the importance of nativity, income and caste certificates, Rao asked officials to be careful while issuing them. "One wrong issuance of a certificate can do much damage. We will not tolerate it. Serious action will be initiated against the official who issued it and the respective collector will be held responsible," he warned.
Stating that wrong issuance of certificates would create problems for the government, KCR said that the government was already facing undue pressure on account of fee reimbursement. "Today, we are being blackmailed on the issue. But we are determined to see that only Telangana native students are benefited. If we succumb to pressure, there is the danger of students from other states like Maharashtra demanding fee reimbursement. Determining one's nativity is the prerogative of the state as ruled by the Supreme Court. I request officials to take care in issuing certificates. One mistake will cost the posterity of Telangana which has already suffered and we do not want it to happen again," he said.
LAND FOR DALITS: Elaborating on the Land Purchase Scheme for Dalits, the chief minister said there were 12 lakh Dalits in the state, 9 lakh of them in rural areas. "We want to utilise the SC special component through the social welfare department which will be renamed social development department. First priority will be given to landless Dalits. There is no hurry to implement the entire scheme at one go. On August 15, it will be only a launch of the programme and thereafter it will be continuous process. Government will provide irrigation facility for those lands and will even provide one year's agri input required. Bankers will not be involved."
Even if 50 percent of the scheme was implemented in right perspective in three years' time, it would be a great achievement, he said and blamed the previous governments for failing to implement the scheme which has been in vogue for 31 years. "Only Rs 92 crore has been spent so far and 41,000 acres distributed. We want to spend Rs 1,000 crore to Rs 2,000 crore a year," he said.