Major schemes meant for providing affordable housing to urban poor will soon be modified to make them more people-friendly, said Girija Vyas, minister for housing and urban poverty alleviation and invited the private sector to contribute more actively in this. Vyas said her ministry is modifying all the major schemes including the Rajiv Awas Yojana (RAY), Rajiv Rinn Yojana and the, Affordable Housing in Partnership scheme and added enormous budgetary support has been earmarked during the current Plan period. Vyas said there was a need for private developers to develop economic models to foster affordable housing for economically weaker sections and lower income group households in urban areas as government efforts in this direction needed to be supplemented.
India, Switzerland collaborates on energy efficient buildings
India is collaborating with Switzerland to utilise Swiss expertise for designing energy efficient buildings in the country, by entering into a five-year Memorandum of Understanding."After extensive consultations and pilot projects, our two governments have signed a five-year MoU to facilitate the adoption of Swiss expertise to the Indian context," Swiss Ambassador Linus Von Castelmur said. The Indo-Swiss Building Energy Efficiency Project brings together builders, developers and and state agencies, among others, to promote energy efficient designs for new buildings. "Through the application of Swiss know-how, house owners can reduce their energy consumption by almost 50 per cent," Castelmur said. The project is being implemented in partnership with the Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE).