New Delhi: Union Home Minister Amit Shah Thursday said that the government was committed to taking care of the soldiers and their families and promised to enhance the housing satisfaction ratio of Central Armed Police Forces (CAPFs) personnel to about 74 percent by 2024.
An official spokesman in a statement issued here said that by launching the 'eAwas' portal, Shah said the government had been able to enhance the housing satisfaction for the troops of the CAPF by 13 percent.
As he launched a new online portal for them that aims to increase the chances of finding government accommodation by widening the available pool of homes, Shah said that the Home Ministry had started working on this subject as soon as Prime Minister Narendra Modi took charge in 2014 and he had repeatedly said that it was the responsibility of the elected government of the day to take care of the families of the soldiers who guard the frontiers of the country and render other internal security duties round-the-clock.
“The new portal will allow CAPF personnel to find houses among themselves rather than just looking for accommodation within the force,” he said. “I am told that in many places the houses are vacant, and with this new facility we will see the housing satisfaction ratio for the personnel going up by 13 percent.”
Border Security Force (BSF) Director General (DG) Pankaj Kumar Singh, who spoke before Shah to give an overview of the new facility, said as per the current data about 19 percent of houses were vacant in CAPFs and through this portal, a soldier of one force could seek a house available with the other force. The CAPFs comprise the CRPF, BSF, ITBP, CISF, and SSB, apart from the Assam Rifles.
These forces have a combined strength of over 10 lakh.
Shah said that when the BJP government took charge in 2014, the housing satisfaction ratio for CAPFs was about 33 to 34 percent and that this figure now was 48 percent.
He cited official data to say that the Home Ministry had constructed about 31,000 houses over the last eight years, even as around 17,000 were under construction while another 15,000 were proposed to be built.
“By November 2024, we will increase the housing satisfaction ratio for CAPFs by up to 60 percent and if we take into account those available in the common pool of the forces, we can add another 13 percent and this ratio will then be about 73 to 74 percent,” Shah said.
“Our target is to take this ratio up to 74 percent by 2024,” he said.
Shah said that the Modi government had initiated several welfare measures for the CAPF personnel who were vital for the economic progress of India which was emerging as a manufacturing hub of the world.
“We have distributed about 35 lakh Aayushman health cards to the jawans and their families till now. I was told about some ‘teething problems’ in this scheme but that has been resolved now,” he said. “The government is also preparing software that will conduct transfers and postings in CAPFs over an online medium and that would enable soldiers to be closer to home and family.”
Shah said that with the e-transfer software, the government aims to link the health condition, age, and other vital parameters of the soldiers so that it could be more useful.
He said that the government had also enhanced the PM scholarship for the wards of the CAPF soldiers adding about 80 new courses to this bucket even as the air courier service for transportation of troops in high-risk areas has been strengthened.
Shah directed the CAPF director generals to ensure that systems were put in place so that mega plantation drives undertaken by these forces bear a good result by motivating the soldiers to form a special bond with the saplings planted by them.