With an ambitious aim to provide a house to all the citizens in the country, the Government of India launched ‘Housing For All’ mission. Under this, the major focus was on the poor and homeless, especially the migrant labourers. However, since the onset of the COVID pandemic, the challenges for the sector have been on the higher side. Addressing this, Elets Technomedia Pvt. Ltd. organised National Housing Summit on August 26, 2020.
Addressing the summit, Amrit Abhijat, Joint Secretary and Mission Director, Housing For All, Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs (MoHUA), said, “PMAY largely arose from the experiences of previous schemes. Earlier, the housing was largely taken up to do something for those living in slums and squatters. However, it was realised that this would not be enough.”
Speaking on the inception of PMAY, he said, “So, with PMAY it was decided to have a cafeteria approach towards the housing sector. Under this, four verticals were designed – first wherein a person already had a piece of land by means of ownership or succession was given the beneficiary link construction. Secondly, somebody who did not have land and has moved to an urban area was given the facility of affordable housing in a partnership where one could invest from the private sector also as well as from the government sector and housing bodies. The third element was In-Situ Slum Rehabilitation (ISSR) where the projects were redeveloped or designed so that the people living in slums will be taken care of. And, the fourth component is credit-linked subsidy subvention that involves the MIG segment in a big way after 2017 and these are successful under the various scheme.” Therefore the cafeteria approach helps people to decide what they really wanted, he added.
Further, adding to the noteworthy measures by the Ministry, he said, “Another important initiative is to follow the demand survey rather than going after SSCG data or a data where people are chosen. We asked the ULBs with taking the state government in confidence that those require a house would actually demand one. So, rather than being only a supply-side intervention, it was also a demand-side intervention wherein the people actually demanded that they need a house.”
Describing the role of technology in the housing sector, Amrit Abhijat said, “I remember Prime Minister stressing on using the space technology when the PMAY was recently launched. Therefore, all these schemes were tied to a geotagging arrangement wherein no house is built in a manner where the progress is not monitored through an electronic digital system by the help of GIS mapping and by the help of each image being geotagged at five stages – foundation, plinth, roof stage and final construction stage.”