*Inputs from the Ministry of Housing & Urban Poverty Alleviation
The Ministry of Housing & Urban Poverty Alleviation is the apex authority of the Government at the national level for formulation of housing policy and programmes relating thereto, review of the implementation of the plan schemes, collection and dissemination of data on housing, building materials/techniques and for adopting general measures for reduction of building costs. In addition, it is entrusted with implementation of the specific programmes of urban employment and urban poverty alleviation.
To address the problem of housing shortage along with deficiencies in basic services and in consonance with the changing policy environment, this Ministry has announced the National Urban Housing and Habitat Policy (NUHHP), 2007, for promoting sustainable development of habitat in the country with a view to ensuring equitable supply of land shelter and services at affordable prices to all sections of the society. Involvement of multiple stakeholders namely- private sector, co-operative sector, industrial sector for labour housing and the services, institutional sector for employee housing has been emphasized in the NUHHP.
For holistic slum development and basic infrastructure facilities to the slum dweller Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM) is being implemented to assist cities and towns in taking up housing and infrastructural facilities for the urban poor in 63 cities in the country under the Basic Services to the Urban Poor (BSUP) Programme. Under BSUP 274 Detailed Projects Reports on improvement/development/relocation of slums to improve the housing and infrastructure conditions of urban poor from 61 Mission Cities of 30 States have so far been approved with a total project cost of Rs. 17,421.11 crore with a Central Share of Rs. 8761.03 crore covering 7,87,111 Dwelling Units and other basic civic amenities to the Urban Poor.
Further, to address the needs of shelter and basic amenities in the non-Mission cities and for taking up housing and slum upgradation programmes, the Integrated Housing and Slum Development Programme (IHSDP) is being implemented with the objective to strive for holistic slum development, with a healthy and enabling environment by providing adequate shelter and basic infrastructure facilities to the slum dwellers including the displaced. Under IHSDP 424 Detailed Project Reports on improvement/development/relocation of slums to improve the housing and infrastructure conditions of urban poor from 29 States have so far been approved with a total project cost of Rs. 4021.53 crore with a Central Share of Rs. 2878.84 crore covering 2,59,746 Dwelling Units and other basic civic amenities.
JNNURM has contemplated three key reforms at State and Urban Local Body levels to build the foundation for sustainable urban development and eradication of urban poverty in the face of growing, challenges of urbanization. The key reforms in the context of housing to the urban poor and slum development are:
· Reservation of Land for Housing the Urban Poor: Earmarking at least 20-25% of developed land in all housing projects (both Public and Private Agencies) for EWS/LIG category with a system of cross subsidization.
· Internal earmarking within local body budgets for basic services to the urban poor.
· Provision of basic services to urban poor including security of tenure at affordable prices, improved housing, water supply, sanitation and ensuring delivery of other already existing universal services of the government for education, health and social security.
With a view to ameliorate the living conditions of the urban poor and to reduce urban poverty, the Swarna Jayanti Shahari Rojgar Yojana (SJSRY) is being implemented as a centrally sponsored scheme for the benefit of the urban poor on all India basis, since December 1,1997. The scheme is now being revamped. Keeping in view the fact that the number of urban poor getting increased in comparison to the decrease in rural poverty, the allocation for the year 2008-09 for the Scheme of Swarna Jayanti Shahari Rozgar Yojana, which is the only urban poverty alleviation programme of the Government, addressing the livelihood needs of the urban poor, has been enhanced from Rs. 344 crore for 2007-08 to Rs. 515 crore in 2008-09 i.e. an increase of about 67 per cent. Total amount of Rs. 336.91 crore was released to State Government in 2007-08. During 2007-08 against the physical target of setting up 1.20 lakh microenterprises, the achievement was 1.81 lakh. Also, against a target of providing skill training to 1.50 lakh urban poor, during 2007-08, 2.48 lakh urban poor were imparted skill training. Thus, in both these areas, the achievement was more than 100 per cent.
Apart from the above, Integrated Low Cost Sanitation Scheme (ILCS), a centrally sponsored scheme, envisages conversion of existing dry latrines into low cost pour flush latrines and construction of new ones where none exist. Till 31st March 2008 the total number of projects sanctioned under the ILCS Scheme through HUDCO is 873 covering 1538 town in 23 States/Union Territories. The cumulative subsidy released as on 31.3.2008 is Rs. 359.32 crore as per the progress reported by the State nodal agencies 28,15,857 units have been completed. To make the Scheme more attractive and implementable, the guidelines of the ILCS Scheme have been suitably modified.
This Ministry is also implementing the Scheme of 10% Lumpsum provision for North-Eastern States including Sikkim. Under this Rs. 15.93 crore was released during the current financial year, 2008-09 for various ongoing projects in Manipur, out of total allocation of Rs. 50.00 crore.
A number of organizations working under the Ministry are:
The Housing & Urban Development Corporation Ltd. (HUDCO), a Public Sector Undertaking, was set up as a fully owned Government company in April, 1970 with a view to provide loans and technical support to States and City level agencies and other eligible organization for various types of housing activities and infrastructure development.
The Building Materials and Technology Promotion Council (BMTPC) undertakes the task of extension, dissemination and application of innovative technologies and low-cost building material based on industrial and agricultural wastes, developed by research institutions. It also encourages development of appropriate standards for the new materials and their adoption in the schedule and specification for the public housing and construction agencies.
The Central Government Employees Welfare Housing Organisation (CGEWHO) is responsible for execution of housing projects for Central Government employees, on ‘all-India’, ‘self-financing’ and ‘no profit-no loss’ basis and it has completed 10,018 dwelling units and is having 2734 dwelling units under various stages of construction and planning.
National Buildings Organisation (NBO), an attached office under the Ministry is the nodal authority on housing and building construction statistics in the country.
NBO has implemented the Central Sector Scheme “Urban Statistics for HR and Assessments (USHA)” aiming at the development and maintenance of national database, MIS and knowledge repository relating to urban poverty, slums, housing, construction and other urbanization-related statistics. The main objective of the scheme is to support Ministries with an information base and knowledge input for the purpose of planning, policy-making, project design, formulation, implementation, monitoring and evaluation, particularly in the context of programmes relating to urban poverty, slums and housing.
NBO has developed a state-of-the-art fully computerized MIS on housing and building construction statistics backed by appropriate hardware, software and facilities to operate the MIS.
The Hindu - Opinion
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