A representative of the Nellore District of the Yanadis Welfare Association charged last week that officials cheated the government when they started building some houses for Yanadi families. These alleged irregularities occurred in Allur Mandal, a village in the Nellore District of India’s Andhra Pradesh state.

The Yanadi advocate, T. Venkateswarlu, told the press that the government was building small houses for the indigenous people under the auspices of the state’s Indiramma Housing Scheme when the cheating occurred. He alleged that a work inspector and an assistant engineer had laid cheap concrete slabs for the houses for lesser amounts than was stipulated by the state government, but they had then charged the state for the full amounts. He requested an investigation by appropriate government officials.

The Andhra Pradesh State Housing Corporation website indicates that little houses are being built under the Indiramma Scheme for the scheduled tribes of the state, which would include the Yanadi. The houses are to cost 7,500 India rupees (US$385) each. The state government funds 7,000 rupees of the total and the individual covers 500. The website shows the approved plan of a very simple, one room house, with two doors, two windows, and a single room measuring 9 feet by 17 feet.

The website specifies that the new owners have to demonstrate that they own the land, and that the houses are to be built entirely by the owners “without involving any contractors/middlemen.” Apparently, contractors were involved anyway in pouring the concrete slabs onto which the houses were to be erected. One may suspect that the state law specified that no contractors were to be involved in order to prevent the type of corruption that allegedly occurred.

Earlier news stories have discussed instances of corruption in India and the cheating of peaceful tribal peoples, frequent problems in that country.