ROURKELA: Despite a pressing housing crisis, Rourkela struggles to make headway in executing the affordable housing initiatives of both the Odisha government and the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana - Urban (PMAY-U). The Rourkela Development Authority (RDA) stands as the lone entity making strides with its Affordable Housing Project (AHP), but challenges persist. The existing AHP, comprising 500 units in the Economically Weaker Section (EWS) category, moves at a sluggish pace in Chhend Colony, catering to slum residents of Mantola, Banglatola, and Panposh. However, two proposals from RDA for 720 units and two proposals from Rourkela Municipal Corporation (RMC) for around 1,600 PMAY-U units remain a distant dream.
Sources reveal that the RDA’s AHP at Chhend Colony, initiated in 2017, inches toward completion for residents of Mantola, Banglatola, and Panposh. Another proposal for 720 EWS units in Chhend Colony, submitted by RDA two years ago, awaits government approval. Simultaneously, two AHP proposals from RMC for 800 units each face a similar fate. The under-construction project has been taken up as per the ‘Policy for Housing for All in Urban Areas, Odisha, 2015.’RMC’s deputy commissioner Sudhanshu Bhoi stated that the RMC is yet to receive approval for AHP-1 and AHP-2.
Despite earmarking 36 acres at Madhusudanpali for low-cost housing units, meant to rehabilitate around 4,900 families, the project remains stagnant. Additionally, the de-listing of 84 slums as Biju Adarsha Colonies offers some consolation, with nearly 30,000 households becoming eligible for land rights under the JAGA Mission. While the Beneficiary-Led Construction (BLC) scheme under PMAY-U witnesses less than 800 beneficiaries engaging in in-situ construction, the overall progress in addressing Rourkela’s housing crisis remains a cause for concern.