New low-cost housing scheme for urban poor

Written by Rajat Arora | New Delhi | Updated: Dec 20 2012, 06:12am hrs
The Centre is working on a new scheme of affordable housing for the economically weaker sections in urban areas. The plan will be different from the UPA government's flagship JNNURM, one of the two sub-missions which the ministry of housing and urban poverty alleviation is anchoring.

Apart from housing, the new scheme would also have a component to provide a clutch of services such as skill development, water supply and drainage system to the urban poor.

Housing minister Ajay Maken has sought allocation of more than R60,000 crore for the scheme, which is expected to be ready by the next financial year.

The ongoing JNNURM I has two submissions Urban Infrastructure and Governance (UIG) and Basic Services to Urban Poor (BSUP) being run respectively by ministry of urban development and the ministry of housing and urban poverty alleviation.

We would like to start a new mission afresh, instead of waiting for JNNURM II, which mainly talks about UIG to start with. The new mission would have two submissions-National Urban Livelihood Mission (NULM) and Rajiv Awas Yojna (RAY), said Maken, adding the scheme would be for a period of 10 years and would be divided into two phases. The ongoing projects under JNNURM I would continue and no new fresh project would be assigned under the mission.

According to ministry officials, NULM, for which an allocation to the tune of R20,000 crore has been sought, would be target-oriented with specific focus on the primary issues pertaining to urban poverty such as skill up-gradation, entrepreneurship development and employment creation through wage employment and self-employment opportunities.

Under RAY, for which over R40,000 crore has been sought, MHUPA is planning to have a mandatory condition for ensuring that 35% of the total dwelling units or 15-20% of the Floor Area Ratio, whichever is more, are reserved for service providers and economically weaker sections in houses constructed by the government or private builders.