The Narendra Modi Government’s flagship scheme, National Mission for Urban Housing, is en-route to meet its objective of 2 crore urban houses for the Urban population of India. In 2015, the year after his election as the leader of the largest democracy, PM Modi initiated a host of initiatives. The Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (PMAY) with the urban component led by the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs (MOHUA) targeted to provide cheap housing finance to the lower- and middle-income population dwelling in urban areas.

Mid 2021, the Ministry has sanctioned 1.12 crore houses, initiated over 80 lakh houses, and completed around 50 lakhs homes. The sanctioned houses represent around 60 per cent of the approximate target of 2 crore houses. Out of committed investment of 7 lakh crore, the government has already disbursed above 1 lakh crore rupees out of the central pool of 1.8 lakh crore.

To accelerate the programme further, MOHUA initiated the ‘PMAY-U Awards for Implementation and Innovation’ under Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana-Urban (PMAY-U) in the year 2019. In 2021, a 100 days challenge was announced for the rewards. The purpose of the scheme to encourage competition among the enforcement bodies like urban local bodies and states. With targets such as 90% grounding of sanctioned projects, the scheme is well placed to reduce the gap between the sanctioned and grounded projects.

“Housing For All by 2022” is a transformative program which will help contain poverty, significantly improve human development parameters through better sanitation, dignified living and access to infrastructure. The initiative will help end the culture of Slum-dwelling in Urban India. The Mission addresses serious shortages of Urban housing or housing finance among the Economically Weaker Sections, Lower Income Groups and Middle-Income Groups. All these eligible households will be assured help to own pucca houses.

Affordable Rental Housing Complexes forms a sub-scheme of PMAY where households who can’t afford to spend on houses can avail themselves cheaper rental homes for a dignified life. The programme is expected to benefit the workers of the non-formal economy and industrial sector workers.

The urban housing construction spree is not only playing a major role for much of the urban poor but it has also become a driver of technology, employment and economic activity. PMAY(U) has generated 2.46 lakh crore jobs, with net consumptions of 369 lakh metric tons of cement and 84 mt of steel. The global housing technology challenge identifies a host of new technologies for a sustainable, eco-friendly and disaster-resilient future. Using this, 16 lakh new technology houses have been constructed under PMAY (U).

Till 2021, the scheme has helped construct 68.69 lakh beneficiary led construction houses, 23.21 lakh affordable housing in partnership houses, 15.96 lakh credit-linked subsidy scheme houses and 4.5 lakh in-situ slum redevelopment houses. Telangana followed by Kerala and Gujarat lead in the grounding and completion of sanctioned projects among different states. The Ministry has red-flagged the 34 lakh non-starter housing projects and the 100 days challenge is intended to encourage states to start construction on all sanctioned projects.

The Housing for all Scheme represents the aspiring ambitions of a modern India to end poverty in accordance with 2030 UN Sustainable Goals. Housing for families will have many long-term advantages for the economy as a whole. Spending on illness and diseases will come down, the potential to develop further economic opportunities, lives will be secured from disasters and human development can be propelled to new heights. Breaking the vicious chain of poverty is extremely essential for any developing country like India to sustain a high growth rate and rise in the league of nations. An affordable house provides a dignified life to families, helps end the harsh life in outlying slums, and brings close infrastructures like schools and hospitals. For urban India, removal of Slums made of tarpaulin sheets or kutcha houses ensures beautification, land availability for re-development and an image make-over to drive tourism.

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