Interest subsidy, PPP options to meet housing shortage: Naidu

New Delhi : The government is examining proposals for interest subvention and public-private partnership to meet the housing shortage in urban areas, Urban Development Minister M.Venkaiah Naidu said Thursday as he suggested a 25-point charter for planning and management to ensure planned urbanisation.

Addressing a conclave of ministers of housing and urban development of states and union territories here, Naidu called for “out of box” thinking and solutions to address emerging challenges of urbanisation in the country.

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Housing was a basic indicator of wellbeing of people and particularly the poor, and lack of one’s own house was a basic deprivation, he said.

“This has to be met in right earnest and hence, the central government’s initiative of providing housing for all by 2022,” he said.

Naidu, who is also housing and urban poverty alleviation minister, said it was time for the central and state governments to move forward as “Team India” as desired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

He assured the states that there will be no discrimination in allocation of resources.

Expressing concern over the present state of urban planning and management, Naidu suggested a charter of action for urban development and management.

The charter included several suggestions like making towns and cities slum free; exploiting potential of cities with respect to tourism, health, education, business; inclusive zoning providing for old age homes; and construction of orphanages and night shelters.

Other measures included provision of efficient infrastructure; efficient energy use; clean and green cities; zero landfill waste; solid waste management; promoting cycling through dedicated tracks; capacity building of municipalities and enactment for guaranteed services.

The minister said urban areas faced a shortage of 300 lakh houses and various options, including channelising tax revenues, interest subvention and public private partnership, were being examined.

He said the government would soon firm up the way forward on development of 100 “smart cities” and noted that there is considerable interest in this scheme from different developed countries.

Naidu urged the ministers to adopt a National Declaration on Housing and Urban Rejuvenation at the end of the day-long deliberations to affirm the country’s commitment to housing for all.