Govt seeks to expedite slow urban mission

To fast-track the project, Union urban affairs minister asks stakeholders to take action-oriented approach

Published: 25th November 2017 02:21 AM  |   Last Updated: 25th November 2017 10:46 AM   |  A+A-

Express News Service

NEW DELHI: Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s dream of providing affordable houses to the homeless urban poor is facing several hurdles. States have a crucial role in taking the urban mission forward, but it is making slow progress in many states. Concerned over the slack pace, the Union urban affairs minister  Hardeep Singh Puri has asked all stakeholders to take an action-oriented approach to fast-track the projects.

So far, about 4 lakh houses have been constructed across the country, as against the estimated need of 12 million housing units. An analysis of the issues dogging the PM Awas Yojana-Urban (PMAY-U) reveals that the major problems faced by states include high cost of land, a complex financing mechanism, few incentives and high risk for private developers, and the absence of obstruction-free land. Lack of private participation in housing projects is another major constraint.

In a national consultation on Friday, Hardeep Puri, the urban affairs and housing minister, highlighted the issues faced by the scheme. “The housing sector has been the focus area of the government, and it is pertinent that roadblocks are identified, diagnosed and suitably addressed to reach the mission’s key milestones,” he said.

The minister said that the stakeholders should identify the challenges impeding convergence between them, the issues of the real estate sector, and State-level policy matters that hinder progress towards meeting housing requirements.

Since the launch of the PMAY urban in June 2015, the Centre has sanctioned 30.76 lakh houses across all verticals. So far, work has begun on 15.65 lakh houses, of which about 4.13 lakh have been built, with the rest in different phases of construction.

There are many verticals under which houses have to be constructed in the states. In Situ Slum Rehabilitation (ISSR), which aims to provide slum dwellers with homes to make cities slum-free, has seen little construction.

Similarly, another segment, Affordable Housing in Partnership, wherein the states, either through their agencies or in partnership with the private sector, can plan affordable housing projects, is also seeing sluggish work in many states. “To further promote the AHP vertical, issues such as financing models, encumbrance-free land, and private sector participation need more focus,” said Puri.

Housing Hurdles
Centre has sanctioned 30.76 lakh houses across all verticals
Work has begun on 15.65 lakh houses
4.13 lakh houses have been built
The target is to build 12 million houses.
Main issues affecting the scheme
High cost of land, complex financing mechanism, few incentives and high risk for private developers, absence of encumbrance-free land, and lack of private participation.

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