Since the onset, the COVID pandemic had been impacting the economies worldwide adversely. The housing sector in India was no exception to the wrath of economic crisis. Therefore, to discuss ‘Housing’, the impact of the pandemic on the sector and the way forward, Elets Technomedia Pvt. Ltd. organised the ‘National Housing Summit’ on August 26, 2020.
The one-day summit comprised of Inaugural session and four technical sessions followed by the Housing Awards ceremony. The session witnessed participation of senior policymakers and renowned industry leaders deliberating on India’s housing industry, the impact of COVID pandemic on the housing sector, recovery from the COVID crisis, and the way forward.
The summit commenced with a special address by Sanjay Kumar, Chief Secretary, Government of Maharashtra. He said that COVID has changed our paradigm of working and people need to adapt to the changes. The COVID pandemic has brought in light the importance of home with ‘work from home’ being encouraged and social distancing and self-isolation measure are being adopted, the need for adequate housing is foremost in everyone’s mind. Further, deliberating on the theme, the Chief Secretary, said, “The COVID-19 pandemic has brought in sharp focus on the dire living conditions of migrant labourers in cities. These informal workers are the backbone of the Indian economy, constructing houses, working as domestic workers, cooking food at eateries, running roadside food stalls, hawkers, auto-driver, etc. These migrants are dependent on their daily earnings for their food, shelter and basic requirements. Therefore, lack of adequate housing, proper living conditions and halted economic activities during the COVID-induced lockdowns made them migrate back to their villages.”
Pointing out to the measures taken by the Government of Maharashtra to resolve the above-mentioned issues, he said, “In order to overcome the challenges, the state government announced a slew of measures. From extending deadlines for the payment of premiums, a moratorium of loans, affordable rental housing scheme, liquidity interventions, improving ease of doing business, etc.” On this note, the CS opened the conference for further deliberations and encouraged all the panellists to further deliberate on measures to revive this sector to ensure quality and affordable housing to every citizen of the country. He gave a special mention to Ajay Tyagi, CEO, Rialtes Technologies and Prakash Baviskar, Chairman and Managing Director, Baviskar Group, for their work towards in the affordable housing sector.