Budget 2016: President Pranab Mukherjee, in his address to the joint session of Parliament, has revealed that the PM Narendra Modi led government is committed to providing ‘housing for all’ by 2022 and over 4.25 lakh houses have been sanctioned under the scheme at a cost of more than Rs 24,600 crore.
Launched in June last year, the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana seeks to accomplish the construction of about two crore houses in the next six years to benefit primarily slum dwellers, urban poor and those belonging to economically weaker sections and lower income groups.
President Pranab Mukherjee said, “The government is committed to providing Housing for All by 2022…. The mission intends to cover all 4,041 statutory towns in the coming five years.”
In its first year alone, 2,011 towns/cities in 27 states have been included under the mission, he said, adding, “A total of over 4.25 lakh houses have been sanctioned with a project cost of over Rs 24,600 crore.”
Pranab Mukherjee also said that Varanasi and Jaipur have been declared as the first two Indian cities to be part of the UNESCO Creative Cities Network.
Launched in 2004, the network aims to strengthen cooperation with and among cities that have recognised creativity as a strategic factor for sustainable development vis-a-vis the economy, society, culture and environment.
Referring to the Swachh Bharat Mission, with its focus on behavioural change, Pranab Mukherjee said it is becoming a community movement to “herald an overall change in the quality of life and well-being” of the people, particularly the poor.
“Focusing on generating wealth from waste, the government has formulated policies on mandatory procurement of power from waste-to-energy plants, co-marketing of compost by chemicals and fertiliser companies, and use of construction and demolition waste,” he said.
Holding that a robust infrastructure development unlocks opportunities for all, he said the government has initiated the Smart Cities programme for pursuing urban development in a “challenge mode”.
“In the first phase of the Smart City programme, 20 cities have been selected after intense competition among 98 cities. Second and third phases of the programme are on the anvil,” he said.