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Housing For All: A Dream Turning to Reality

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Durga Shanker Mishra, Secretary, Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs (MoHUA), Government of India

Elets Technomedia Pvt. Ltd. organised the ‘National Housing Summit’  on August 26, 2020, with an aim to focus on changing scenarios in the housing sector, especially after the COVID-19 pandemic. The deliberations included panel discussions and special addresses on varied topics ranging from scope and challenges in the housing sector, the importance of technology in housing to making housing liveable and greener.

Durga Shanker Mishra, Secretary, Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs (MoHUA), Government of India, participated as the Special Guest in the summit. In his special address, he mentioned the Prime Minister’s clarion call for making India self-reliant and said, ”Urban areas play a crucial role in realising the dream of Aatmanirbhar Bharat because 65 per cent of the GDP comes from the urban areas.” Adding to this, he highlighted, “In urban areas, the population is around 30-35 per cent and by 2030 this will reach 40 per cent. Moreover, by 2051, it is projected that over 50 per cent of the Indian population will reside in cities and India will become an urban country.” To cater to such demands as much as 800 to 900 million square meter construction is required each year, he added.

Citing a major issue, Mishra pointed out that when people from rural areas migrate to cities their foremost requirement is a house. Most of them, coming from poor or not well-to-do families, cannot afford a house in the cities. So, either they settle in slums or they live in unauthorised colonies. To address this issue, Prime Minister Narendra Modi rolled out ‘Housing for All’ mission in June 2015. The mission aims to provide an affordable house to everyone in the country by 2022.

“This is a humongous task and nowhere in the world such a massive construction project has been ever taken up,” he highlighted. While speaking on the facts and figures of the project, he pointed out that “despite being a seemingly unachievable task wherein we have to construct 1.12 crore housing units, 1.07 crore houses have been already sanctioned. 67 lakh houses of those sanctioned have been grounded and over 35 lakh have been delivered.”

Also Read: India’s Transformation Significant in Past 6 Years: Durga Shanker Mishra

Talking about technology interventions in the housing sector, he mentioned that a Global Housing Technology Challenge has been launched by the Government of India wherein over 54 technologies from around the globe were displayed. Of these, six technologies were shortlisted to implement and venture into a new way of building houses faster and better.

Further, he said that the ministry explored various options like – if there are some existing houses in bad condition that can be demolished and rebuilt under PMAY. Secondly, if any landowner agrees to partner with the government, the land could then be used for making apartments, similarly, private developers can also partner. There are credit schemes as well, and more. He concluded saying “by 2025 India would have the real estate sector contributing around 13 to 15 per cent to the nation’s GDP”.

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