• People are forced to live in slums in the heart of cities because of economic, safety and commutation needs. That is the primary reason why house built by government are lying vacant in the outskirts of cities.
  • Ownership is often not completely handed over to the residents, which generally kills their enthusiasm to take personal initiatives in upgrading the houses and neighbourhoods
  • 17% of the houses constructed under centrally sponsored schemes were vacant in 2017 because of poor relocation planning and missing infrastructure.
  • Real estate developers, private players in particular, have primarily targeted luxury, high-end and upper-mid housing segment owing to the higher returns that can be gained from such projects.
  • Several structural issues
    • The high gestation period of housing projects
    • limited and expensive capital
    • spiralling land and construction costs
    • High fees and taxes as well as unfavorable development norms are bottlenecks restricting the desired growth in housing stock in India.
  • 90% of India’s problem is that most of the people are living in houses that are not fit for human habitation.
  • There is a certain degree of empathy and firmness that these projects lack, which consequently takes away effectiveness.
  • Failure of the government in allotting land for transit camps in the case of on-site rehabilitation where slum dwellers are moved to temporary shelters until new homes are built in the same place they lived in earlier.

Course correction needed:-

  • Reforms on
    • land and housing policy
    • delegation of power to urban local bodies
    • fostering innovative housing finance
    • reduction in project costs and schedule overruns.
  • Housing other than ownership housing needs attention too like the rental housing ,working women/men hostels etc
  • Factors such as access to public institutions, social inclusiveness and home security will have to be given equal attention.
  • States and Centre’s schemes on affordable housing will have to find a common thread so that logistical hurdles are bypassed.
  • Social integration is the most crucial component that has to be assimilated into any affordable housing scheme so that the poor get a sense of belonging and strive to improve their neighborhoods.
  • Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) proposed for all-round urban development looks at deploying a list of guidelines that are targeted at making human settlements safe, resilient and sustainable. If acquiring separate land isn’t viable, upgradation of the slums can be a feasible way of providing decent housing to the poor.
READ  Is education in rural India leading to better livelihood?

Source- Livemint

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