Affordable Housing

Prime Minister Narendra Modi is pushing forward the scheme of Make in India in a big way to bring in more investments in manufacturing sector and to create more jobs. Several multinational as well as Indian companies have come forward and started setting up of large scale manufacturing units. As these units are labour intensive, mostly they get established in suburban or semi urban areas. But the people that come to work in these workplaces may not be able to afford own houses as the cost of housing is so high in these areas because of the skyrocketing land prices. So they may be forced to stay in slums. Keeping in view of this situation Central Government has come up with mass housing scheme called Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana(PMAY). This very ambitious scheme was started on June 25, 2015. Under this scheme so far 24 lakh units were sanctioned in the last 2 years with central assistance to the tune of Rs. 37,232 crore for the urban regions. An amount of Rs 11,412 crore was released by the ministry. In the last 2 years 2.99 lakh houses were completed. Several state governments could get these funds by submitting proposals. In addition to this the Central Government has requested private participation. Most of these units come under sub 10 lakh/unit category. Though the profit margins are thin, the private sector is showing lot of interest in these projects. Corporate houses such as Tata housing, Mahindra Lifespace etc., have jumped into the fray. If more and more such projects take root it can alleviate urban housing problem to a large extant. Other than the government projects several larger real estate firms are offering low cost mass dwellings for the public with better amenities. Even the banks and other finance firms are coming forward to fund such projects by way of providing cheaper home loans to the consumers. Though the idea looks great, providing water, electricity, health care, education etc., services becomes a big challenge for the urban administrations. These projects also deplete the arable land meant for agriculture and add to the problem of food security. But it seems even the rural folk are willing to explore urban areas for jobs as the agricultural activities are no more sustainable. Let us hope that the transition will be smoother for the stakeholders and the administrators.

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