The two government secretaries having had surrendered government quarters following the circulation on housing rules by National Housing Development Corporation (NHDC) last week may be just two cases, but, nonetheless, it’s also an indication of how housing rules of government quarters are flouted, especially by people in the higher ranks of the government.
There have already been reports abound in the media of people in the higher civil service ranks occupying units or government quarters that are meant for people in the lower income group.
While it’s heartening that people in the lower income group are at the centre of the government-housing-units initiative, what merits contemplation is whether they (the intended people) are getting the benefit of such a scheme or plan.
Reports abound of allotment rules being flouted emerged of the housing units in Chanjiji earlier. Perhaps, a similar sort of thing seems to be occurring in other housing units and government quarters as well. Some have occupied or been occupying these apartments for almost a decade or even more, the lower rent being the obvious reason.
Nothing, however, has been done to monitor the practice despite the allotment issues having had surfaced up time and again. It’s, therefore, a good start that NHDC is looking into the rules which it implemented in January last year in an attempt to provide equal opportunity to all the civil servants.
And as the organization envisions of making available around 800 housing units after a few years from now for those in the lower income group, it also becomes necessary to ensure that the benefit trickle down to the these people; some of those who still put up in dingy and ramshackle apartments, and some sharing a common flat – not uncommon among employees in the lower rung because of necessity than choice.
The government secretaries, meanwhile, also deserve some applause for surrendering their quarters and adhering to the housing rules. They could perhaps also be considered as an example to the remaining others who still continue to reap the benefits actually unintended for them. A way has been paved here, albeit a good beginning, but would the others follow suit?
[March 23, 2014]