The Supreme Court today questioned why despite the huge sum spent under the National Urban Livelihood Mission (NULM) for constructing permanent shelter homes in 790 urban cities in the country there was no new facility in some states, saying “it is scam”.
“It is a scam. Take for example Maharashtra. It received Rs 170 crore and the state has no new construction and it has not a single operational shelter home,” the social justice bench of justices Madan B Lokur and U U Lalit said.
“There is not a single operational shelter home in the state (Maharashtra). Where has the money gone,?” the bench said and asked the Union Ministry of Urban Development to file a fresh affidavit giving entire details about NULM project.
The court’s obervations came after perusing the affidavit filed by the Ministry on the progress made by various state governments under the NULM scheme.
The bench termed as “totally unacceptable” the non-filing of affidavit by the ministry in the apex court registry and imposed a fine of Rs 10,000 on it as the counsel handed the reply in the court.
The Centre has provided Rs 1,078 crore to states under the scheme which is meant to provide shelters to homeless people in urban centres of the country.
Earlier, the Centre had said that 27 states, including Union Territories, have set up the executive committee in terms of the NULM for the purposes of permanent housing structures in 790 urban cities.
It had said that the matter is being taken up with the remaining states and UTs to ensure that the executive committee are put in place at the earliest.
The ministry had also stated that it would regularly monitor the setting up permanent housing structures in 790 urban centres and the states and UTs would be asked to give monthly reports.
“We expect the Union of India to concentrate not only on the number of shelters that are being constructed, but also on the quality of shelters and the facilities provided therein,” the bench had said.