Focusing on the need for private participation for large-scale infrastructure development in the country, Union urban development Minister M Venkaiah Naidu on Tuesday said that government is committed to service delivery. He said that new guidelines are in the offing to enable private investment in affordable housing to realize the dream of housing for all.
While speaking about the achievements of his ministry in last three years, Naidu expressed concern over the ‘habit’ of overstaying by VIPs in the government allotted accommodations. He said that the ministry had to take a tough stand for eviction in many cases. “2,843 such houses were got vacated during these three years by acting tough as per rules including 411 higher type accommodation occupied by former MPs and Ministers. A total of 95 unauthorised occupants lost their cases in various courts reflecting on the challenging task faced in their eviction. Still, another 190 cases are pending in courts including 80 in the High Court and 110 in District Courts but the long hand of law will reach them”, said Naidu.
Stressing on the need for inclusive and sustainable urban development to ensure access for the poor and the vulnerable to urban spaces, Naidu said, “New guidelines will soon be issued to enable private investments in affordable housing even on private lands under affordable housing in partnership component of PMAY (Urban) under which only public sector partnership is allowed so far.” In last three years, government has approved construction of 20,25, 573 affordable houses for urban poor.
Naidu said that a rule-based framework has been introduced to ensure objective selection of cities and allocation of central funds without any discretion and discrimination and the same has been followed in getting unauthorized occupants of government houses evicted.
“A major course correction has been launched during the last three years to improve urban infrastructure and quality of life in cities in an environment of inclusive, sustainable and accelerated urban development,” said the minister giving an account of the positive outcomes of the initiatives of the Government that are driving urban transformation.
The minister informed that per capita Investment of Rs 15,475 has so far been approved during 2014-17 under new urban missions for a five year period which is 315% of Rs 4,918 approved for the earlier ten years. A total investment of Rs 4,13,475 cr has so far been approved for improving basic urban infrastructure which is 350% of Rs 1,18,034 approved under JNNURM.
Naidu said public transport is being promoted in a big way to address the issues of climate change and pollution and the Metro network in the country is set to double over the next two years from the present 346 kms with 353 kms of metro lines becoming operational.
The Minister said that the ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change issued a notification doing away with the need for a separate Environmental Clearence from that ministry for construction and building projects up to 1,50,000 sq.metres in Delhi. Such approvals, will henceforth, will be issued by DDA, NDMC and the three MCDs in their jurisdiction.